K-town American Legion honors ‘walking wounded’

Christine June, Story and photo
415th Base Support Battalion

***image1***Veteran camaraderie may have been “just what the doctor ordered” for 18
wounded servicemembers at a dinner hosted in their honor by the
American Legion Kaiserslautern Post Germany 1 Sept. 21 on Rhine
Ordnance Barracks in Kaiserslautern.

“Tonight is an idea that we came up with to show our troops who are
sacrificing their lives and away from their families just how much we
appreciate what they are doing for us,” said Mike Young, American
Legion Kaiserslautern Post Germany 1 commander.

This was the fourth dinner the Kaiserslautern post has hosted for the
servicemembers, who are outpatients at the Medical Transition
Detachment on Kleber Kaserne in Kaiserslautern.

“I think this is awesome. We feel the love of the legion here tonight,”
said Capt. David A. Lutz, 278th Regimental Combat Team 3rd Squadron
physician assistant. “We’re all kind of down. We’re in the middle of a

“We’re not on the battlefield. We’re not home. We’re in the middle, and
we feel kind of lost,” said Lutz, who has been in Iraq for 15 months,
away from his wife and four children.

Lutz and fellow comrade, 1st Lt. Geoff S. Fidelman were able to share
stories of fire-fighting missions with Vietnam and Desert Storm
veteran, Robert C. Turner.

“I enjoyed talking to Robert. The camaraderie in the military is
awesome. It really is,” he said. “We’ve shared the same experience of
fighting for our country and freedom.”

Chartered by Congress in 1919, the American Legion is a
community-service veteran’s organization with nearly three million
members in 15,000 posts worldwide.

Kaiserslautern’s post has 158 members and hosts membership meetings the
first and third Wednesday of the month in building T368 on ROB. Those
interested in joining must have at least one day on active duty with
military orders. Active-duty members can also join the American Legion.

Membership drives will be 1 to 5 p.m. Oct. 8 and Nov. 5 at the Vogelweh
Commissary in Kaiserslautern. For more information, call Young at
483-8826 or 0631-57392.