A run for their money

by Senior Airman Caitlin Guinazu
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Sick, injured and far from home, many wounded warriors pass through Landstuhl Regional Medical Center during their transition from deployed locations to the states.

In a flurry of doctors, nurses and medical personnel, is a program sponsored by the American Red Cross that helps bring morale and a smile to those in need.

The program is called the morale cart. Traveling the halls of LRMC, the cart is staffed by local volunteers and is stocked with items such as toiletries, snacks, drinks, movies, books, magazines and handmade blankets.

“When you can’t move from your bed, keeping your mind occupied and busy is important,” said Emily Hayes, KMC American Red Cross assistant station manager. “I can’t overstate what a difference this makes to our patients and the wounded warriors here.”

The morale cart is a donation supported project. One donation came from Ramstein in the form of the “Help a Hero” 5K event.

“The ‘Help a Hero’ 5K is an important event, not just for the Wounded Warrior Project and Red Cross, but also for the KMC,” Hayes said. “The proceeds from the event are going directly toward our Landstuhl American Red Cross morale program, which benefits our wounded warriors and patients here at LRMC.”

Last year’s 5K was hosted at the South Side fitness center and raised more than $1,200 in donations.

“We saw how appreciated and popular it was. That’s the reason why we’re having it again,” said Nicol Gecewich, 786th Force Support Squadron programming specialist. “It’s such a good event for such a great cause.”

The “Help a Hero” 5K event is a prime example of Airmen, families and communities joining together to raise funds for the Wounded Warrior Project.

“There’s something about that ‘taste of home’ that brings comfort to these warriors,” said Brittany Kelly, LRMC American Red Cross field office coordinator. “We wouldn’t be able to provide that ‘taste of home’ without events and donations like this ‘Help a Hero’ 5K. Even simple things like a notebook or a crossword puzzle make an enormous impact.”

The next 5K is scheduled for July 2.