Volunteer activity provides comfort to ailing soldiers

By Susan Griggs
Keesler News editor


Staff Sgt. Iya Foster turned her experiences while stationed in Germany into a base-wide project to benefit wounded warriors.

Sergeant Foster, an aviation resource management instructor in the 334th Training Squadron, mentioned the Landstuhl Hospital Care Project, to her fellow instructors when it was her turn to propose a monthly volunteer activity.

“When I was stationed at Ramstein Air Base in Germany before coming to Keesler, I deployed with flight nurses and medical technicians who cared for people who were injured in the desert,” Sergeant Foster recalled. “We have lots of wounded warriors and I didn’t want them to be forgotten. I thought it would be good to give back to our own.”

LHCP, a non-profit organization under the Combined Federal Campaign umbrella, provides comfort and relief items for military members who become sick, injured, or wounded from service in Iraq, Kuwait, and Afghanistan.

Donated items are distributed to patients at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, the largest American military hospital outside the United States. Other donations are forwarded to field hospitals in Afghanistan and Iraq and to Veterans Affairs medical facilities throughout the United States.

Many specific things are needed, but many other items aren’t accepted, according to the LHCP Web site, LandstuhlHospitalCareProject.org. Sergeant Foster scanned the list and narrowed down donations to travel sizes of men’s and women’s shaving cream and deodorant.

As donations began coming in from the aviation resource management flight in August, the project expanded to the rest of the squadron and other units in the 81st Training Group. Each unit in the 81st TRG has a representative to collect and coordinate donations. The first shipment was mailed Sept. 3.

Sergeant Foster decided to extend the project through September and invited other units across the base to participate. There’s a collection box in the lobby of Cody Hall, and Sergeant Foster is willing to pick up items from donors who can’t drop them off. To donate or for more information, call Sergeant Foster, 377-474.


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