***image1***The outcomes of fighting situations in Iraq, Afghanistan or other global hotspots are accented by places like Landstuhl Regional Medical Center and its Fisher Houses.
So said the highest ranking German Army officer, Lt. Gen. Hans-Otto Budde, who met with wounded servicemembers, their families and other troops on a Dec. 6 visit to LRMC. The Chief of Staff of the Bundeswehr brought with him a check for €2,000 which was donated to Fisher Houses on behalf of the Association for the German Army.
General Budde spent time on various patient wards in the hospital after making a first stop at Fisher House II, where he talked with the mother and brother of Soldier injured downrange. He said a lot has changed since the Cold War regarding relations between the U.S. and European nations.
“There will always be a deep bond between the U.S. and Germany,” Budde said. “It’s not about how do I feel. It’s how the people here feel. I think they are positive about their recovery. We Germans have a lot of respect for lives lost or lives changed in the line of duty for peace and freedom in the world. It’s those kinds of people that are here in Landstuhl.”
Budde recalled his own wartime experiences, reflecting back 10 years when he was field commander of German forces in the Bosnia-Herzegovina theater. He said his interaction with his own troops and from other nations created lifelong mental images of success, desire and courage.
“You ask me how I feel when I see troops who are down but I haven’t seen that,” Budde said. “The troops I’ve seen are positive and the ones who are (hospitalized) are always talking about getting better and making their recovery. They are hardly ever found to be down about their situations.”
Budde said conflicts in the Middle East could worsen or improve, but the issue of the Global War on Terrorism will remain. The German military is currently involved in operations in Afghanistan, the Balkans, Congo, Lebanon and a few other locations.
“Whether we finally can say the battles in Afghanistan or wherever are ended, the fight against terrorism will go on forever,” Budde said. “The overall enemy is terrorism. We have to realize this and never resign from fighting against it.
“You cannot say it is in the fortnight or in 14 weeks, but rather forever. We are strong enough to work together, people who desire freedom, and to win the war against this enemy. I have no doubt that we will do it.”