Our first official stop was the USO Warrior Center at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center. Sick or injured military personnel are first transported to this hospital for treatment or therapy before coming to the States or being deployed wherever duty calls, whatever the situation may be.
The Warrior Center was clean and a place of support. There seemed to be a swarm of activities for the patients. The food was fresh, tasty and plentiful. Moral was high. And many of the staff are hunters.
I just happened to have some copies of Turkey Country to add to their library and gave a few turkey calling lessons using a drinking straw. We spent much of the day signing pictures and spending time with rehabilitating servicemen.
We were then taken on a tour of the hospital and had an opportunity to visit the patients. As far as hospitals go, this one was very good. The United States built it in the early 1950s and it still looks brand new. Everything was sparkling clean. The staff was professional but super courteous and friendly. Best of all, it didn’t smell like a hospital.
The patients seemed pleased to see and talk with folks from home. The common theme I noticed from every conversation was a desire to get back with their comrades. All regretted they weren’t there to help their unit complete their mission.