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Saturday, April 02, 2005

Hello Angels and Friends,
We were on Good Friday in LRMC Landstuhl and in the Fisher House and also in the Kleber Barracks. Here our story. We have a new project here in Germany: "Visiting wounded and sick soldiers in the Kleber Barracks". Kleber is a part from the Landstuhl hospital and for patients who can walk by themself and must not lie in a bed. I think we are looking forward to go in May to Kleber and to the Hospital again. We have seen Good Friday again, that the soldiers in Kleber need more personally gifts and microwave meals. If anyone interested to hear more write me. Have a great weekend. I hope you are doing fine. Willie
Wilhelmine Aufmkolk, Germany

Soldiers Angels in Germany started with 60 backpacks and have provided continued support to wounded troops in LRMC for a year.
Located in Landstuhl Germany is the largest American hospital outside the United States where soldiers are recuperating from wounds received in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Good Friday 24th March 2005 we brought 90 backpacks to the wounded Heroes
Irene and Manfred Kilp, Nita Patton-Villalobos and I went with 60 backpacks (including 16 packs from MetLife Volunteer Committee) to Landstuhl. Mary Ann Philipps, our Angels from Munich, have worked with other Angels to make 30 backpacks with sweat suits and other things the soldiers can use. In the backpacks she had included wonderful letters from her family & friends of the WWII-generation. They're all in their 80's and are busily writing letters and cards.

One woman's husband served in Iraq during WWII and she's written a couple of interesting letters about that. A blind woman dictates letters to her granddaughter to write and she mentions comments about the "greatest generation" to the wounded soldiers.

In the 60 backpacks we have a blanket, underwear, socks, T-shirt, personal hygiene items and candies. Most backpacks also contain a sweater, sweatpants, and phone cards. Unfortunately, the security level was high on "Good Friday" so we could not go to the wards with the backpacks. Instead, the backpacks are going over to the Fisher House and the wounded soldiers there.

16 backpacks from the MetLife Volunteer Committee
In a special project, the Soldiers' Angels worked together with the MetLife Volunteer Committee of Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania. Sue Heller and Lynn Johnson sent us all the items for the backpacks and we prepared the backpacks here in Germany in order to give them to the wounded soldiers in Landstuhl.

MetLife Offices in Clarks Summit

The past Good Friday makes it about 1 year since we started visiting Landstuhl Regional Medical Center (LRMC). The hospital is located 10 minutes from Ramstein Airbase. When I met Patti Patton-Bader, the founder of the Soldiers' Angels in 2003, I was looking on the internet for information about the Iraq war. I was interested because a good friend of mine from Fort Biehler, Wiesbaden, Germany went to Iraq in May 2003 to help the Iraqi people rebuild their country. I later joined the Soldiers' Angels and started to help Patti with providing aid and comfort to servicemen and women of the armed forces and their families. Meeting Patti and the rest of the Soldiers' Angels is a great opportunity to do something for our American friends, and to give something back to our friends who have given us so much over the last 59 years. I am glad to be a part of the 22 Angels here in Europe.

Willie and Kathy with a handmade blanket and backpack

Our hero, Sgt. Leecharde R. Bersamina, from 1st ID has fought a year and a half in Iraq and Nita Patton-Villalobos, Patti's sister, have both helped us so much with the boxes our Angels sent to Germany to fill the backpacks here. All the wonderful and hard-working Angels from the States and Europe have helped to make the backpacks ready so that we could go to Landstuhl.

As of today, we brought to wounded troops here over filled 617 backpacks, 120 gift bags with T-shirt, underpants and socks, over 56 German/English cooking books for the nurses and the Fisher House and so much more. Since August 2004 we filled the backpacks with blankets of hope and support for the wounded soldiers who have been injured in combat. These blankets are not only a symbol of warmth to our heroes, but they will know how much we are loved and appreciated for what they what they have done, for the sacrifices that they have made. Our Angels have sent more than 300 hand-sewn blankets to Germany. With each blanket we say our wounded heroes, "Get well soon and we hope it will get better soon."

Mary Ann and Irene with the Easter gifts in the lounge at Kleber

Near the main Hospital is the Kleber Kaserne, a Medical Transition Detachment, about 15 minutes from Landstuhl. American soldiers at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center (LRMC) stay here for medical treatment before they travel to the United States or return to their combat units.

" Together Everyone Accomplishes More "

Medical transition Co. LRMC at the Kleber Barracks in Kaiserslautern

Easter gifts for the wounded and sick soldiers in the Kleber Barracks
In addition to the backpacks, we have 89 Easter gifts, baskets and bags, Girl Scout Cookies and bunnies. Mary Ann had Easter candy for the sick men and sick women in Kleber Barracks. She also brought two big "washing" baskets filled with chocolate rabbits, stuffs, and cards. Smaller baskets were presented to the nurses and staff in the wards of the hospital. 1LT Anne C. Stephens, told us, "thank you enough for bringing by the Easter candy."

SSG G. Wayne Broom, Platoon Sergeant at LRMC Kleber Barracks welcomed us in December, too. He told us, "Thank you for your contributions. This type of support helps build a positive environment of care for our injured soldiers, and they are all grateful for that." He had notified all the soldiers there that we had Easter gifts, and in a few minutes the lounge was full of soldiers. They looked for the Easter gifts and spoken with us. Other soldiers came into the lounge and then they left later with a smile on their face. The soldiers always looked for cards with an address because they told us that they wanted to write back to us someday.

Mail for a wounded Hero at Kleber
Timothy Aponte is a 26 year old soldier and son of the veteran Framingham Firefighter, Pablo Aponte. Timothy was injured in Iraq during a rocket-propelled grenade attack sometime in December 2004. He has spent over a few months at the Kleber Barracks. During January 2005, we brought him a backpack while he was still at Kleber Barracks. Lynette Frascella collected "Get well" cards for him so that we can give it to him during our visit on Good Friday. We heard that he is now fully recovered and back on duty. We forwarded him his Easter basket and his mail to his new address here in Germany.

Donna from Cincinnati, Ohio in Kleber

Our Angel Donna from the States was with us in Landstuhl
For a few weeks now, a Chaplain Assistant (SGT) in the 4-31 Infantry Battalion, has been stationed in Baghdad, Iraq asked me to find a way for a particular lady (she has adopted soldiers from his unit) to visit wounded soldiers at LRMC. He told me Donna feels really strongly about what we are doing because she wants to show the soldiers how much they are loved and appreciated. So we tried to make it possible for Donna to go with us to LRMC on Good Friday. Donna was only spending a few days in Germany while her family was on tour.

A feedback from a Marine
Our Angel Carrie S., CA sent me as other Angels some Easter Cards for the backpacks and Easter gifts for the Soldiers. A wounded Hero wrote here, "Dear Mr. and Ms. S., I just wanted to thank you for the card. I am a U.S. Marine that got sent to Germany for medical care. I am currently better and I will be on my way back to -----------, Iraq soon. Believe it or not, to me this is a good thing, because I will be with my brothers there. Well I would appreciate it if you kept all the marines from Charlie Co. 2nd MP Btl in your prayers. Thank you once again. Cpl.--------------/USMC"

Willie, Chaplain (Capt LND) Joel K Warren, Donna

The Chaplains office and our shoes project:
Kathy Gregory from the Fisher House asked me on February 2005 that Landstuhl needs shoes for the wounded soldiers. In response we bought the first 8 pairs of shoes with the money donated by CW3 Fred Guldbrandsen, USAR and the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7663. That is how our shoes project was started and our Angel, Carol Bishop, continued to look for more than 50 pairs of shoes! Isn't this wonderful!

On the 24th March 2005 we had 13 pairs of shoes for Chaplain (Capt LND) Joel K Warren. Angel, Donna Harnishfeger, had with her 6 pairs of shoes, and 4 pairs of shoes were mailed directly to the Chaplains Office. Chaplain Warren was happy to receive the shoes for the wounded soldiers. Over the past year the Chaplains have helped us many times to hand out the backpacks. It is wonderful that they all have given us a few hours of their time to help us bring the wounded soldiers a backpack. We will wish Chaplain (Lt.) Catherine Pace, Chaplain (LTC) William Young and Chaplain (Maj.) Rachel Coggins a safe trip home.

Donna, Nita and Irene on the Gate 3 in LRMC

The Fisher House and our wounded Heroes
The Fisher House has helped us from the beginning to support the wounded troops in Landstuhl. Kathy Gregory, manager from the Fisher House in Landstuhl, has welcomed us with open arms. She has given us so many hours of their time. For us it was a great honor to work together with the manager of the Fisher House to help the wounded marines and soldiers, and give them the magnificent backpacks to use. Read more on the following sites:

We found him in the last minute
In January 2005, Kathy Gregory and I met Matthew Braddock while he was on a stretcher in a bus to Ramstein Airbase. We handed him a backpack, blanket, and a pillow for his long return journey to the States before being transfered to Andrews Air Force Base outside Washington D.C. From there he was flown to Madigan Army Medical Center at Ft. Lewis, Washington and then he finally ended up at Brook Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas. SP 1st Class Matthew Braddock, 24, is a member of the 1st 162nd Infantry Oregon National Guard. Matthew was critically injured near Kirkuk, Iraq when his convoy was struck by an anti-tank mine. He was driving a Humvee when he was wounded. The explosion severed an artery in his left arm, and put shrapnel in his left knee, and both feet, and broke his ankles. You can read Matt's story on the following sites: and (page 5)

Matt wrote me later, "thank you so much for your letters and card. It means a lot to know that we have support. When I got your letter and gifts, I was alone without the buddies I've been serving with and without any family or friends around me. Seeing your card was one happy thing in the middle of a lot of bad things. Thank you for taking the time to make it for me. Thank you again for your letters and card, it really did help me."

His companions were able to remove him from the vehicle and control his bleeding, which likely saved his life. He lost his left foot and may lose most of his right foot. He also suffered many flesh wounded, and both his arms and legs were broken, but he is now on a speedy recovery.

A wonderful feedback about our Valentines book:
In February I received the following e-mail from the mother of a wounded Hero who was staying at the Fisher House while her son was recovering:

"Hello. My name is Mary T. and I am still in Fisher House,.room ---., My son Matthew, who is a Military Policeman in the Army was wounded while in Iraq and flown over to his home base here in Landstuhl. I wanted to thank you so very much for the wonderful VALENTINE gift of the book "May No Soldier Go Unloved". It is a very thoughtful gift and one that I will take with me where ever I go. Thank you. My son is still in the intensive care unit. I hope that he will become better so that he can move out of that unit and eventually go back to work here at the base or else go home to the United States, Florida (where he lives) I thank you for your kind thoughts to all of here at the Fisher House, and for your kind thoughts for the men and women of the United States Army."

In response to Mary's letter, I sent a special blanket to Matthew at the Fisher House. His mother told me later, that he is now recovering well at another hospital here in Germany.

The Angels in front of Fisher House II
from left Manfred, Willie, Irene, Mary Ann, Nita, Rudi and Donna

Angels helping Family at the Fisher House
Our Angel, "Cathy W.", wrote to me about the mother of a wounded soldier, Matthew Q., from the 201 MP battalion. Matthew's mother wrote to Cathy from the Fisher House in Landstuhl and she said, "Thank you very much for the blanket of hope." Cathy called me to look for her, so I tried to call the Fisher House but I remembered that I was in Landstuhl and we were giving out backpacks and blankets to the ICU patients. Matthew's father, Ivan, wrote later and he said, "Thank you for all your kind wishes...Matt is doing better...your prayers and best wishes are heaven sent..."

So I wrote to him:

"Dear Matthew,
You do not know us but you are forever in our hearts! Our hearts are with you on your way to recovery. Day by day you were there to fight the war against terrorism. You knew about the danger in which you were in, but to ensure our freedom you did your duty. You tried to help us all to make the world a better place for all humanity. We pray that God will bless you and help you recover quickly. Each day our hearts are with you. You are our hero. We are glad that we can give back to our American friend because the Americans have given us so much in the last 50 years. We are there for our friends if they need us.

Get Well Soon!"

As Matthew was doing better, Kathy Gregory gave him one of the CD Players from our Angels, "Mary Ann". He is now on his way to a speedy recovery.

In a 2004 news interview, Matt said, "My country needs me there and I'm going. Hoo-ah!!!...They're telling us what type of stuff to bring down, telling you to be careful down there. Keep alert, keep your head in the swivel, do what your NCOs tell you to do and stay cool."

(If you need more information about the Fisher House Landstuhl, please email us for contacts, etc. -- Pam)

The Angels are waiting together with Kathy Gregory for the soldiers

A short review on Good Friday 2004:
The first time that Irene and Manfred Kilp, Regina Zierer and I visited wounded soldiers in Landstuhl Regional Medical Center (LRMC), we brought them wonderful backpacks and greetings from the Soldiers Angels. Regina and I are also members from the KONTAKT Wiesbaden e.V., a German/American Friendship Club, but ever since our first visit, we are always truely overwhelmed to visit the war wounded who had just returned from combat from Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan or Iraqi Freedom in Iraq. It is an awesome feeling to give them a reassuring hand, share a warm smile, and to say to them, "Thank you for fighting the war against terrorism. Thank you for helping to bring freedom to the people of Iraq and Afghanistan. Thank you for keeping our world safer and ensuring freedom in our world". It was here where the first 60 backpacks arrived from the Soldiers Angels at the Fisher House in Landstuhl and we distributed the backpacks to the wounded soldiers immediately.


The first backpacks were donated by Soldier's Angels Foundation, Keystone Soldiers ( and from The Wounded Warrior Project, it is an organization from the United Spinal Association ( All 60 backpacks contain a Hooded Sweat Shirt, Military Brown T-Shirt, Black Sweat Pants Package of Boxers and Socks, 120 minute ATT calling card, CD Player (w/extra batteries), 1 Stick Deodorant, 1 (1.5 oz.) shave gel, 1 (2 oz.) bottle of Shampoo and Body Bath, 2 Disposable Razors, 1 (4" handle) toothbrush, with bristle cover, 1 (.85 oz.) tube of toothpaste and more goodies.

Since we first started, a lot of Angels and friends have donated their time, money, backpacks and a lot of other items to make the backpacks ready. They, together with students from different schools, have also written many "Get Well Soon" cards which have been included in the backpacks to convey greetings from home.

If anyone is interested in donating items for our next set of backpacks please contact me. (Please email me if you are interested, and I will put you in contact with Willie. --Pam)

Wilhelmine Aufmkolk, Germany

"May No Soldier Go Unloved"

Willie, as always, I am amazed at all that you and the Angels in Germany do for our wounded Heroes. Thank you, thank you, thank you. You are true Angels.

SHARING WATER — A U.S. Marine, assigned to the 15th Marine Expedition Unit, Marine Service Support Group 15, shares water with a young Iraqi child at a medical civil action project at Mahmudiyah, Iraq, March 24, 2005. The project provides the community with basic medical health care. The unit is under operational control of the 256th Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Thomas Benoit

In Today's News - Saturday, April 2, 2005

Quote of the Day
"The shepherd drives the wolf from the sheep's for which the sheep thanks the shepherd as his liberator, while the wolf denounces him for the same act as the destroyer of liberty. Plainly, the sheep and the wolf are not agreed upon a definition of liberty."
- Abraham Lincoln Associated Press
Vatican: Pope's condition remains grave
Iraq clerics change stance on police, army
Mugabe wins majority to continue reforms
Ex-CIA chiefs rebut Bush panel conclusions
FBI finds explosives in Nichols' old home

Seattle Post-Intelligencer: War on Iraq
Sudan hardliners vow to defy U.N.
Lebanon shopping center blast injures 7

The US News: Iraq News
Clerics urge Iraqis to join security force
Army officer convicted in shooting death of wounded Iraqi is dismissed from military
Ex-CIA chiefs rebut knowledge of problems with Iraq source
Iraq Fraud Can Be Tried in U.S.
Iraqi exile says US report on intelligence before war clears him ...
U.S. Citizen Held in Iraq as Suspected Insurgent
Baghdad priests pray for pope, remember appeals for peace
Sergeant found competent to stand trial in deadly grenade attack

Yahoo! News: War with Iraq
Former CIA Chief Disputes Warning Over Iraq Data


Fox News
Attacks in Iraq Kill Six
N. Korea Criticizes Japan
Palestinian Security Commander Resigns
Explosives Found in Terry Nichols' Old Home
U.S. Missionaries Killed
Ex-CIA Chiefs Dispute Bush Intel Panel Claims

Iraq car bomb kills 5, wounds 4
Explosives found in home of Oklahoma City bomber
Killers hunted in rampage killing of 30 in Rio
Man found alive 5 days after Indonesia quake
Report: Colombia drug war failing

Department of Defense
Myers: Total-Force Concept Successful — Story
War on Terrorism Promotes Transformation — Story
Navy to Provide Guantanamo Bay Guards — Story

Deployed Troops Opt to Extend Service — Story
'Bobcats' Search Oruzgan Province for Enemy — Story
Romanian President Visits Camp Phoenix — Story

Miss. Guard Soldiers Link U.S., Iraqi Schools
Iraqi, U.S. Troops Distribute Humanitarian Aid
Gunrunners Provide Close Air Support Near Border
Support Battalion Keeps Supplies Moving

Laura Bush Visits Troops in Afghanistan
First Lady Thanks U.S. Troops for Service
Photos: First Lady Visits Afghanistan
Afghan Officials Bid Farewell to Wolfhounds
Logistics Motto: Have Pallet, Will Travel

Guantanamo Sailor Loves Navy Lifestyle — Story

City Kicks Off Troop Support Rally — Story
Town Takes Support a Step Further

Ops Yield Suspects, Weapons
Attacks Lowest Since March 2004
Force Assessment Due Mid-Summer
Rumsfeld Discusses Insurgency
Success in Iraq - DoD Fact Sheet
Year in Review 2004 Fact Sheets (pdf)
Iraq Daily Update
Iraq Reconstruction
Weekly Progress Report (pdf)

Power of Freedom Evident
Forces Airlift Injured Afghans
Afghan Academy Opens Gates
Missing Aircraft Search Continues
Defense Leaders' Views on Afghanistan
Enduring Freedom Marks 3 Years
Afghanistan Daily Update

Report Recommends Intel Changes
Civil Support Commanders Meet
Elections Show Democratic Trend
Info Access Key in Terror War
Waging and Winning the War on Terror
Terrorism Timeline
Terrorism Knowledge Base

Bush Nominates Navy Secretary
Wolfowitz Wins Confirmation
OPM Extends Veterans' Preference
Airman Designs New EOD Vehicle
Ceremonies to Honor Fallen Soldier
DACOWITS Topic: Family Issues
National Guard, Reserve Update

Today in History
1513 - Ponce de Leon lands in Florida
1763 - At the Battle of Gherain, the British defeat the Bengalese Nawab.
1792 - The United States approves the minting of the $10 Eagle, $5 half-Eagle & 2.50 quarter-Eagle gold coins as well as the silver dollar, dollar, quarter, dime & half-dime.
1796 - Haitian revolt leader Toussaint L'Ouverture takes command of French forces at Santo Domingo.
1801 - The British navy defeats the Danish at the Battle of Copenhagen. When ordered to withdraw, Admiral Nelson lifts his telescope to his blind eye and continues to fight.

1836 - At the Battle of San Jacinto River, Santa Anna was taken prisoner and forced to recognize the independence of Texas.
1865 - Confederate President Jefferson Davis flees Richmond, Virginia ahead of Grant's advance.
1917 - President Woodrow Wilson presents a declaration of war against Germany to Congress.
1917 - Jeannette Pickering Rankin is sworn in as the first woman to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives.
1932 - Charles Lindbergh pays more than $50,000 ransom for his kidnapped son.

1935 - Watson Watt is granted a patent for RADAR.
1941 - German Lt. Gen. Erwin Rommel begins his push to recapture Libya.
1944 - Soviet forces enter Romania, one of Germany's allies.
1958 - The National Advisory Council on Aeronautics is renamed NASA.
1963 - Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King begins the first non-violent campaign in Birmingham, Alabama.

1972 - North Vietnamese troops captured part of Quang Tri. Southern Vietnamese troops (with the help of the Americans) eventually prevailed, recapturing it in September 1972.
1975 - The South Vietnamese begin to evacuate Qui Nhon.
1982 - Argentina invades the British-held Falkland Islands.

742 - Charlemagne, first Holy Roman Emperor.
1840 - Emile Zola, French novelist / activist.