Thursday, January 27, 2011
Ok it's finally time for the big post all about my trip to Germany! Woo hoo! Sorry this took so long to get on here! Yikes! So I thought it would be perfect to have Gina of Pin-Ups for Vets write up a little guest post to explain all about the trip.
Here ya go:
Ever since I established Pin-Ups For Vets in 2006, I have wanted to make a visit to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany otherwise known as LRMC. If our troops are injured in Iraq or Afghanistan, they are lifted to LRMC to receive more advanced treatment, often times for very critical injuries. Through the milblog (military blogs) community I have come in contact with Blake Powers. Blake is one of the main writers for the milblog, Blackfive and he has been a military journalist. He was previously embed with our troops during deployments. Blake created an organization called Cooking with the Troops where he visits Military and VA Hospitals to prepare very special meals for our troops and veterans.
I figured that a partnership between our two organizations would make a perfect match. I contacted Blake to ask him if he would like to partner up and make a trip to LRMC to cook a meal for our wounded warriors. I would pass out donated calendars and do a signing. He immediately said yes and jumped into action. He contacted gourmet chef, Ellen Adams of Rochester New York, who is a 20 year Air Force Vet. Ellen would prepare a delicious meal for our wounded warriors. Blake also got in touch with Michael Williamson, a military fiction author and veteran to bring his books and do a signing as well. The four of us contacted our supporters to try to secure funding for the big trip. About 2 months after the initial idea for the trip, we had raised enough to go.
I had been begging Leah to come with me to this event and she finally agreed! I was thrilled! This was to be her 8th hospital visit with me! I can't believe how many hospitals she's been to. Sometimes I laugh to myself thinking little did Ms. Leah know what she was in for when she moved in with me. I don't think Leah ever thought she would be this wrapped up with the military and our veterans! I think she has gained a new appreciation for the sacrifices our service members have made. She sees it firsthand at every hospital we visit.
Back to the event in Landstuhl, Blake decided to title it "Operation Fight Post Holiday Blues". Our wounded warriors get a lot of visitors around the holidays so we wanted to bring them some fun in January, post holidays. So, we went shopping at the local German Farmers Market to get fresh veggies and also took a trip to Globis which is the equivalent of a Super Walmart. It's gigantic and that's an understatement. We got most of the meat, ice cream and bread there. The meal took 2 days to prepare. Leah and I assisted with the salad and garlic bread.
The event turned out great. It was held at the USO on base. Our wounded warriors got a big kick out of the calendars and loved the home cooked meal. I received many heartfelt thank yous from our troops expressing appreciation that we flew all the way to Germany to give them a little moral boost in January. I feel that it is the least we can do for our brave heroes who have sacrificed so much for us.
I hope that we will be able to do many more events like this in the future. Leah and I always learn a lot about each other on these trips and these memories we have together will last a lifetime. I have been so lucky to have her as one of my best friends. She is my biggest cheerleader and for all of you who were wondering, Leah is really good at chopping carrots.
As you can see, our trip to Germany was absolutely amazing. Once again I'm grateful for the opportunity to be a part of Pin-Ups for Vets and all the wonderful things Gina does for our Veterans.
This is delicious hot wine that I tried for the first time in Germany.
The french fries and sausage were so good!
Gina and I got to check out a few Black Hawks!