***image1***As wounded servicemembers were loaded onto stretchers in preparation for their C-17 medical evacuation flight to get underway, a special visitor provided pillows and blankets to make their journey a little more comfortable.
One of the patients she attended to was a Soldier wearing a bulky metal halo protecting a severe leg injury. She made sure he received special footwear for the journey to the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. After donning the specially made warm sock, Ginger Dosedel provided an affectionate pat on the shoulder to the grateful Soldier who was injured downrange.
Mrs. Dosedel is the founder of Sew Much Comfort, a nonprofit organization that has sewn more than 20,000 items of customized clothing for wounded servicemembers since it began in December 2004. But she said it’s her son who deserves credit for an organization milled by volunteers from across the U.S.
When her son had cancer as a 3-year-old, his treatment involved a metal halo and fixtures on his leg. Realizing he needed special clothing, Mrs. Dosedel learned to sew to make his clothes. While at Walter Reed one day for physical therapy, he noticed the wounded servicemembers and asked his mom to sew for them too. His wish is granted more than 1,000 times each month.
The success, she said, goes to the compassion of the American public who “really want to support the troops, and this is a very practical way to do it,” said Mrs. Dosedel.
She said she wishes all Americans could witness the quality care and compassion for the wounded she witnessed during her visit at the bequest of Robbin Hobbins, the wife of USAFE commander Gen. Tom Hobbins, and the European Regional Coordinator for Sew Much Comfort who invited Mrs. Dosedel as a guest speaker at the U.S. Air Forces in Europe spouses’ conference.
Her visit included a tour of Landstuhl Regional Medical Center and the 435th Contingency Aeromedical Staging Facility, which recently received its 40,000th patient since the beginning of operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
“I wanted to see how they loaded patients onto planes and what we can do to make them more comfortable as they are transported back to the States,” Mrs. Dosedel said while 43 patients were loaded onto the C-17. The experience helped put the Sew Much Comfort mission into perspective.
“We are a little tiny part of this and it really is such a huge demanding job to get the kids back home. We’re very fortunate to be a part of it. I’m grateful to see this,” said Mrs. Dosedel.
For more about Sew Much Comfort, visit www.sewmuchcomfort.org.