The American Legion of Iowa

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Operation Comfort Warriors

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Operation Comfort Warriors

Broken television sets. Minimal access to music or magazines. A dismal clothing allowance.  That's what wounded U.S. servicemembers faced at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany when then-American Legion Commander Paul Morin visited in May 2007. 

 

Morin returned to the United States with a mission: Raise $50,000 within a couple of months to purchase comfort items for recovering servicemembers at the military hospital in Landstuhl. The compassionate Legion Family rallied to the cause, raising more than $257,000 by the deadline.

 

The money raised went to purchase television sets, stereos, long-distance calling cards, pool tables and other items to make the warriors' stay at Landstuhl as comfortable as possible.

Operation Landstuhl grew into Operation Comfort Warriors in December 2008 by then-Commander David K. Rehbein.

Since then, OCW has continued to provide comfort items to those recovering in military hospitals and transition throughout the U.S. and at overseas facilities.

 

As the war in Afghanistan winds down, U.S. military personnel are coming home where they join other recent veterans who served in Iraq. Many of these servicemembers have left the battlefield only to be faced with a new fight: a struggle to overcome the mental and physical wounds suffered during deployment. Those with traumatic brain injury (TBI) or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are returning home in unprecedented numbers. In fact, the Army has said that up to 20 percent of the men and women who served in Afghanistan or Iraq have suffered TBI.

Even as the wars conclude, those in the military still face inherent dangers while fighting the global war on terrorism, during training exercises and while performing other dangerous duties.

While the care at many military hospitals and warrior transition units is extraordinary, The American Legion's Operation Comfort Warriors (OCW) program was created to provide "nonessentials" - items that help wounded warriors' recovery but don't usually show up as a budget line on government spreadsheets.

How to Help:

Most military medical centers are not equipped to store large quantities of care packages. The Legion strongly prefers monetary donations so that it can expedite the purchase and delivery of items to troops.

How to Give:

Visit www.legion.org/ocw to contribute a donation electronically, using your credit card. Checks may be mailed to Operation Comfort Warriors, The American Legion, P.O. Box 1055, Indianapolis, IN 46206.
 

How to raise money:

A fundraiser such as a motorcycle run or a fish fry can be a great way to gather donations. A Legion post, Auxiliary unit, Sons of The American Legion squadron, Legion Riders chapter, church group or other charitable organization could assist in sponsoring a fundraiser. Proceeds from a fundraising event can be donated to OCW via the website or mailing address listed above.

How to get additional information:

Check out www.legion.org/ocw for the latest news and information about the program.


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Copyright 2006 The American Legion of Iowa
Last modified: 11/25/14