South African delegation visits LRMC

Sgt. Joe M. Battle
Landstuhl Regional Medical Center

***image1***Members of the South African National Defense Force arrived at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center Oct. 3 to witness how U.S. forces care for their casualties.

The three-day information visit was the first time SANDF has toured LRMC.

“The delegates wanted to visit a world-class medical facility to get a global vision of the care rendered to wounded Soldiers. They wanted to get a better understanding of the type of care, not only physically but spiritually, that we provide for our sick and wounded,” said Col. Eric C. Holmstrom, LRMC chief chaplain.

The tour was geared toward pastoral topics, such as patients’ spiritual care and counseling, since the acting chaplain general for the SANDF was present, said Maj. James M. Milburn, LRMC staff chaplain.

The visit began with a tour of the hospital followed by a presentation about pastoral assessment in a medical environment from the 30th Medical Brigade.

“I feel that we can take all the experiences that we have gathered and implement them into our forces,” said Col. Z.A. Makalima, SANDF acting chaplain general.

The tours of the surgery ward and the intensive care unit touched the visitors the most, said Chaplain Milburn.

“It was an eye-opening experience,” said Colonel Makalima.

“To see how these Soldiers are treated really makes me believe that the men and women of the U.S. forces really care about one another.

“We were really surprised at the strength and energy of the staff managing all the patients here. It makes us really confident in the type of care provided at LRMC,” said Colonel Makalima.

The visit ended with dinner at Kusel Castle along with a trip to Trier, the oldest city in Germany, before departing back to South Africa.