Today- Live at the Legion Convention
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Giving Back Their Names

The other day, in doing this post, I realized that a post I thought I had done never made it up.  Back during my first embed, I came home via Landstuhl and Walter Reed.  While I Landstuhl, I was privileged to be there when the wounded arrived and to learn about the process first hand. 


There is a team there that receives each of the wounded.  There are doctors, nurses, and others that help get them from the bus and inside for treatment.


That team includes a liason from the wounded's unit.  Every unit downrange has a liason at Landstuhl, so that when the wounded come off the bus, they are met by someone from their unit.  Someone who is there for them, to help them through the process, and to help their loved ones as well. 


For the most severely wounded, there is a very special member of the team there, someone with the special duty of giving them back their name.  When you are wounded, you are wisked into a process where your name really doesn't matter.  The medics and docs are far more concerned with your wounds, with fixing you as best they can, and getting you to the right place for the right treatment at the right time.  Nothing else matters, and at that point you are patient 123456789, with wounds X, Y, & Z.  Your body, cast(s), or bandages may have notes written upon for the next doctor to see you. But when you get to Lanstuhl, unless you are crashing right there, a special moment takes place as you come off the bus.  When you are secure on the stretcher, a chaplain is there, and leans down, and calls you by name, and tells you where you are, that you are safe, among friends, and that they WILL take care of you.  You are now no longer Patient 123456789, you are yourself and in good hands. 


While this particular chaplain is no longer at Landstuhl, others are.  They are the first link to yourself, and hand you off to your liason and caregivers.  When you arrive, they have the honor and privilege of giving you back your name.