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VAFB donations providing comfort for deployed Airmen

SOUTHWEST ASIA -- (L to R) Staff Sgt. Jason Brouillette, Tech. Sgt. Perry Adams and Staff Sgt. Richard Remington, 386th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron, visit injured security forces comrade, Staff Sgt. Rick Adams, while Navy Lt. Wendy Fletcher, critical care nurse, goes through Sergeant Adams? medical documents, at the contingency aeromedical staging facility here Oct. 31.  Sergeant Adams, who is who is assigned to the 887th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron and is deployed from Moody AFB., Ga., was injured by an improvised explosive device Oct. 29 near Camp Bucca, Iraq, and was also awarded the Purple Heart medal.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Tia Schroeder)

SOUTHWEST ASIA -- Staff Sgt. Rick Adams, 386th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron, rests at the contingency aeromedical staging facility here Oct. 31, comforted by clothes and other donations from Vandenberg's Operation Warrior Comfort organization. Sergeant Adams, who is who is assigned to the 887th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron and is deployed from Moody AFB., Ga., was injured by an improvised explosive device Oct. 29 near Camp Bucca, Iraq, and was also awarded the Purple Heart medal. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Tia Schroeder)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- As Staff Sgt. Rick Adams lay in bed with pins and rods holding his shattered elbow together, small comforts from home helped to ease his recovery.

After his four-truck convoy was hit by an improvised explosive device Oct. 29, he went straight to the Contingency Air Staging Facility with nothing but the clothes on his back. That's when the efforts of Vandenberg's first sergeants and the generous donations of hundreds came into play.

Three months ago, an organization called Operation Warrior Comfort began to collect and send clothes and other necessities for sick and wounded Airmen and Soldiers transiting through on their way to Germany for care. The organization is lead by Master Sgt. Glen McAlister, 30th Mission Support Squadron, and Master Sgt. Mark Guerin, 30th Logistics Readiness Squadron, who know what the Airmen in the hospitals need.

"Something a little more stable than hospital booties," Sergeant McAlister said. "These guys will be more than grateful for the items we collected."

To answer the call to send comforts to wounded military members in Iraq, they rallied support from Vandenberg, who donated dozens of boxes of anything from comfortable clothes that can fit over bulky bandages, to flip flops and shower-shoes. Many donated money to cover shipping costs. Packages began arriving in theater in mid-August, and OWC went fully operational.

Sergeant Adams is now en route to Germany and then to Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, Va., where he'll undergo more surgery on his arm. Other members of his unit will redeploy back to the United States in the next few days. But many Airmen in theater continue to directly engage the enemy, doing jobs that place them in harms way every day. OWC continues to be there to provide Airmen with creature comforts when they need them.

For more information on OWC or to donate, call any Vandenberg first sergeant.