Flight Attendant Founded Aid Service After Visits To
Wounded servicemembers recuperating at Landstuhl Regional
Medical Center, Germany, look to doctors and nurses for their
medical care. For creature comforts and a touch of 'home,' however,
they look to the skies.
Terry Goforth is an American Airlines flight attendant who has
been working troop transport flights -- military chartered flights
on commercial airlines -- into Kuwait since March 2003. Regular
layovers in Frankfurt, Germany, allowed her to visit Landstuhl and
learn of the needs of the wounded servicemembers there.
As she witnessed the effects of war on the injured troops at the
hospital, Goforth asked volunteers at Landstuhl what the patients
might like her to bring from the United States during her weekly
"They started giving us lists of things, and we started
(bringing) things on our trips," she said.
At first, Goforth said, she solicited items needed in small
quantities from people she knew, but occasionally even the hospital
staff would request certain items in bulk. After turning to various
corporations for help -- and learning she could do more if she
incorporated her organization -- she did so a year and a half
To date, the Dallas-based United States Wounded Soldier
Foundation has donated about 12 tons of goods to the wounded
patients at Landstuhl. The value of the donations so far -- both
goods and cash -- is more than $500,000, Goforth said.
The Landstuhl "wish list" changes based on how many patients are
at the hospital, and also depends on the time of year. Winter items
such as coats, gloves, hats and fleece throw blankets have made the
list as winter approaches, according to Goforth, but tennis shoes
always have been in demand regardless of the season.
Along with the organization assistant directors Missy Bauer
(left, below) and Patti Pearson (right)-- also American
Airlines flight attendants -- Goforth (second from left, with
soldier) is planning an event with a local radio station to
raise funds to purchase tennis shoes.
The donations mean a lot more than just warm fingers and toes to
the servicemembers receiving them.
"They're just so grateful for anything that's given to them,"
Goforth, now the foundation's executive director, said. "They want
to know that we actually care about them, that we thank them and
that we're supporting them. They just want the American public to
The foundation is planning a "Someone Cares Benefit Concert" in
conjunction with the United Service Organizations. The country
music concert is scheduled for May in Dallas, and the profits
raised will benefit the U.S. Wounded Soldier Foundation and the
"It'll bring awareness to the needs of the wounded and thank
them and welcome them home," Goforth said. "We should be behind
every single soldier."
(ANN Salutes Samantha L. Quigley, American Forces Press