AFDW Commander visits Walter Reed's wounded warriors
By Patricia Opong-Brown, AFDW Public Affairs
/ Published July 09, 2007
Walter Reed Army Medical Center -- On the eve of his retirement Maj. Gen. Robert Smolen, commander Air Force District of Washington, took a moment to say thanks to the wounded men and women at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. The focus of the visit was to boost the patients' morale and recovery.
During the visit, the general spent time talking with the patients in and effort to boost their recovery and improve morale. Most of the patients he spent time were suffering wounds resulting from improvised explosive devices.
"The troops on the ward felt honored by Maj. Gen. Smolen's visit. The fact that the military's senior leaders take the time out of their busy schedules to learn about the soldiers' injuries and are interested in their recovery and general health and welfare is a great motivator for their recovery," said Dana Brown, Lead Clinical Nurse, Ward 58, Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
The medical center is one of several destinations Operation Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom wounded are evacuated to for treatment. Patients are flown by aeromedical evacuation missions through the military's Medical Evaluation system from the theater of operations to Landstuhl, Germany and then on to Andrews AFB, Md. Once stateside, they are transported to a number of medical treatment facilities to include WRAMC and the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.
All the patients who spoke with Maj.Gen. Smolen talked of the excellent care they were receiving at the medical center and their future recovery plans. In addition to the patients he had the opportunity to talk with some of the parents and spouses visiting their loved ones.
General Smolen told one soldier "it took a lot of courage for you to fight for our safety and freedom." The AFDW Commander presented his coin to each patient he visited and gave them a USAF Band CD.