Angel At His Side

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Via Blackfive comes this story of a German lady who is helping our wounded soldiers when they are transported to Germany. She is a part of the Soldiers Angels organization, which does great work for our wounded soldiers.

On January 13th, Specialist Matt Braddock, a Cavalry Scout with the 116th Brigade Combat Team, was driving a humvee near Kirkuk, Iraq, when an IED was set off near his vehicle.

The left side of his body bore the brunt of the explosion – severed artery in his left arm, shrapnel lodged in his left knee, mangled his lower leg, both feet were crushed.

Three fellow soldiers rushed to his aid, saving his life – Specialist Josiah Jurich, Sergeant Charles Jordan and Staff Sergeant Marvin Albert (click the link to read about these heroes that you should know).

Matt’s mother, Rhetta, picks up the story from here (via email):

Matt was laying on a stretcher in a bus at Landstahl waiting to be put on a transport to the US. He was pretty much miserable, cold and in need of a pillow. All of a sudden a lady with a German accent appears out of nowhere, knowing his name, gives him a pillow and a quilt and a backpack with essential personal items. Before he can get her name, she’s gone. He said it was like an angel had just appeared!

Willie is a German citizen and a volunteer Soldier’s Angel who puts together backpacks for soldiers and distributes them in Landstahl. She drives 150 miles from her home to the hospital to do this.

Kay Fristad of the Oregon Army National Guard public affairs office called her and asked if she could check on Matt. After going to ICU and being sent to the ward and then sent to the buses, she found him on the 2rd bus, 5 minutes before they closed it up to leave.

Once Matt got to Madigan Army Medical Center at Ft Lewis, he told me the story and I started going through his stuff. I found a card with Willie’s name and email address in the very bottom and we started to correspond.

Through all this time she has continued to support Matt with mail and gifts. She went a step farther and showed up to attend his Purple Heart Ceremony!

As a recognition for all Willie and two other Angels present have done for him and other soldiers he presented them with stained glass angels. And to watch over while her husband is in Iraq he gave one to Laura Albert, as well.

Matt would lose his left leg and have a miracle worker surgeon, Dr. Roman Hayda (Brooke Army Hospital, San Antonio, Texas?), put his right foot back together. Matt is doing well, recovering quickly, and wants to get back to Iraq. And, if he can’t be a Cavalry Scout, he wants to be a mechanic.

Blackfive has some pictures of the purple heart ceremony with Willie Aufmkolk, plus Willie left a comment on his post that you should check out. Sometimes I can get very cynical when I read about the liberals and their ranting on and on, this kind of story lifts my spirits tho.

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