Cannon wife motivated to aid wounded troops
October 6, 2009
Cannon Connections photo: Liliana Castillo Leslie Scott organized the same supply drive when she was stationed in England.
Suffering an injury while serving in Afghanistan or Iraq, a soldier can be happy knowing that medical personnel will rush the injured far out of harm’s way in order to quickly treat the wounds.
But after being moved to a combat support hospital or the military hospital at Landstuhl, Germany, when the immediacy of the situation wears off, that’s when the wounded realize all they have with them is the shirt on their back — and whatever else they were wearing when the incident happened.
Leslie Scott, whose husband Nathan is stationed at Cannon Air Force Base, has seen it.
She was moved by a visit to Landstuhl Regional Medical Facility to become involved with a group called Soldiers’ Angels.
“It’s a pretty hard place to visit or be at for very long, because the injuries are pretty severe,” said Scott, who has lived in Clovis for a year. “The people that are making these sacrifices are young, a lot of them, and maybe they’re 18 years old and don’t have a leg anymore.
“When I went over there, I got to see the impact a kind voice or a card has on the guys,” she added.
The work of Soldiers’ Angels is adminstered at Landstuhl through the efforts of American civilian MaryAnn Philips, who lives in Munich.
One common way that the group doles out goods to the injured military men and women are through First Response Backpacks, which includes a full set of toiletries and a calling card — among other items.
Scott said that some of the needed material for the backpacks are all sorts of clothing items (L or XL sizes), meal items like Easy Mac, Cup of Noodles, Dinty Moore meals and granola bars as well as body hygiene supplies such as toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo and nail clippers.
”We didn’t get a lot of items dropped off, but we got a lot of cash though. We ended up with about $800 in cash donations that I’ll be able to use to buy supplies,” Scott said. “It’ll all go to Germany and they’ll either use it to make the backpacks or they’ll put it in their supply closet. The patients, if they’re medically able, or their families will be able to come down and get stuff out of the closet.”
After the event at Wal-Mart, Scott was able to extend the supply drive for a few more weeks with the help of a Clovis church. Central Baptist Church agreed to accept donations through Oct. 17.
“We’ve already started to get supplies in. It’s a great idea — I think it’s a great way to help,” said Euealle Webb, secretary for Pastor Alan McAlister at Central Baptist.
“I know if my husband or any of my friends were to have this happen to them, I’d want them to have this and know that people care about them,” Scott said. “If it can help someone, it’s definitely worth it to me.”