By Danielle DeSimone
Service members of all branches of the military come through the doors of Landstuhl Regional Medical Center. Some arrive because of illness while others come because of a small injury or a more serious wound they’ve obtained while serving downrange.
All, however, have access to the USO Warrior Center.
The USO Warrior Center at Landstuhl is the first of its kind ever built in the world. Opening in 2008, the center was constructed specifically to provide comfort to wounded, ill and injured service members who are receiving care at the nearby hospital.
In the years since it’s been open, the center has become a central gathering place for those receiving treatment in Germany. It’s also become the model for other USO centers of its kind in Bethesda, Maryland and Fort Belvoir, Virginia.
Thanks to generous supporters like you, troops can call family and friends back home for as long as they’d like, watch television on comfortable couches, do a puzzle, get a home-cooked meal or enjoy programmed activities, like painting nights or wheelchair basketball tournaments.
Most importantly, they can take a moment to themselves, outside of a hospital setting.
“Anybody who is wounded, ill or injured, it’s a sensitive experience, certainly a more challenging experience, and people who are in that situation … receiving treatment, they’re going to go through a greater emotional roller coaster than someone who’s just traveling,” said Konrad Braun, area director of USO Kaiserslautern.
Braun explained that there has been a significant decrease in how many service members come through the doors of Landstuhl Regional Medical Center over the past few years – and that is a good thing.
Fewer patients mean that fewer service members are being injured in the field, but for those service members who are wounded, ill or injured, they have the community and support of the USO waiting for them as soon as they arrive in Germany.
The USO provides a comfortable and safe space for service members to heal and feel at home, regardless of the injury or lasting effects of their service.
“I think it’s important to have a USO here to provide the amenities that the Warrior Center provides to help them basically get through that more emotional experience.”
- Senior Content Marketing Manager Sandi Gohn and former Director of Content Strategy Chad Stewart contributed to this report.
- Photo credit Sandi Gohn/USO
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