Patients to benefit from boy scout’s ingenuity

Thomas Warner
LRMC Public Affairs

***image1***A project by Boy Scout Luke Secor, from Ramstein’s Troop 156, will enhance things for future wounded servicemembers at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center.

Luke, 16, is on the brink of attaining an Eagle Scout honor and his last hurdle involves putting together a community service project. He chose to upgrade a portion of the hospital grounds.

“My mom planted the seed in my head,” said Luke. “We had a 13 feet by 13 feet square area that wasn’t being used at Landstuhl.”

Scouts first exercised their minds with some middle school algebra then did manual labor to complete the mission. The area around the Wounded Warrior Ministry Center, a clothing dispensary for injured warfighters, has been given a substantial facelift which will create a more comfortable environment for visiting patients.

Luke and a group of fellow scouts have taken what was once a grassy patch and installed a concrete tile surface, decorated by four sitting benches, a wrought iron pavilion canopy and several small trees. They bought the materials for the upgrade with money collected through donations.

“In the middle of it I want to put a plaque that will dedicate this area to all who have served for freedom’s cause,” Luke said.

The son of Blain and Cindy Secor, Luke enlisted the aid of 10 scouts from Troop 156 and three more from Ramstein’s Troop 12 for work duty. John Mol is the headmaster for Troop 156 and the group had additional help from Luke’s father and Kevin Armstrong, who serve together as Troop 156’s assistant scout masters.

“These scouts did nearly all the work, including a lot that had to be done before we could start putting in the new things,” said Mr. Armstrong. “They even got to do a little math when we had to square the patio.”

Doing a lot of the heavy moving and lifting was sixth-grader Cole Jepsen, 11, who said he and most of the others also wanted to one day achieve Eagle Scout status.

“It depends on who you are talking about,” Cole said. “Our troop (156) has a lot of guys who are committed.”

The Wounded Warrior Ministry Center, more commonly known as the Chaplain’s Clothes Closet, is located outside the door to Wing 2-A in the hospital. Patients trying on new clothes can make things crowded in the small quarters of the dispensary. The benches will serve as an area to sit down while they wait to shop or when trying on new shoes.

“They can sit out in the sun and fresh air now when they come here, especially in the spring and summer months,” said Maj. (Chaplain) Wieslaw Dynek, of the Clinical Pastoral Division. “The scouts came here on a day off from school and surprised us, really. No one was expecting them.”

Chaplain Dynek said the group’s work was almost invisible, with ongoing hospital construction blocking most people’s view of the work being done.
“We all are really moved by their dedication,” he said. “They came and planted their scouting flag out there and sort of said, ‘We’re here!’”