A generous community gives back ...

 From left to right: Past Commander Doc Sheehan, Senior Vice
Commander Mike Flannagan, Post Service Officer
Richard Dunne,
Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth, Post
Member Tom Calhoun,
and Trustee Bob Getz.

When Corrine Dirks of Hampton Inn called Post 1307 in Elgin, Ill., she was hoping to donate 50 lumbar pillows. 

The pillows were part of a bedding package that was discontinued by Hampton’s corporate office. Instead of discarding them, Dirks thought of our veterans.

“I had been following the Soldiers’ Angels website from Landstuhl Regional Medical Hospital in Germany and was aware of their efforts to help wounded warriors from Iraq and Afghanistan,” said VFW Post 1307 Trustee Robert Getz. “I emailed the Angels, and they were interested. The pillows would provide comfort to wounded warriors on their flights from Landstuhl to the U.S.”

Getz also got a call from Chip Shaffer, the father of a wounded warrior. He had heard about the pillows and suggested sending them to Forward Operating Base Sharana and Bagram Air Base. Sharana treats the wounded who are expected to return to their units, while Bagram is a base from which our most seriously wounded are transported to Landstuhl. 

“I thought … why not send something to all three places?” said Getz. “That’s when we decided to hold a special event to collect as many items as we could.”

The Post sent out a press release calling on the Elgin community to donate items that wounded warriors are often in need of: toiletries, clothing, blankets, backpacks, books and more.

The event, called “Send Something to Landstuhl Night,” was held January 30 at VFW Post 1307. Guests were asked to bring an item for donation or make a cash contribution to help with shipping costs. They were also encouraged to write a personal note to a wounded warrior.

More than 50 people attended, including the newly-elected U.S. Representative Tammy Duckworth. Overall, the event was a huge success.

Post 1307 collected seven boxes full of items and 500 DVDs for Sharana and Bagram, 18 boxes for Landstuhl, and more than $400 in cash donations.

Getz is pleased with the public’s outpouring of support.

“Sending these packages shows our brave men and women in uniform that their country cares. As a Vietnam veteran, I know how much that means,” Getz concluded. 

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