• Second Lt. Emily Hanson treats a patient at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, where more than 46,000 servicemembers have been treated since the beginning of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.

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    Second Lt. Emily Hanson treats a patient at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, where more than 46,000 servicemembers have been treated since the beginning of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.

  • Stacey McIntyre (left) and Megan White pay a surprise visit to Pvt. Jacob Morton during his stay at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center. The New England Patriots cheerleaders joined with singers Melina Leon and Jamie O'Neal to visit servicemembers downrange and in Europe as part of Operation Season's Greetings.

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    Stacey McIntyre (left) and Megan White pay a surprise visit to Pvt. Jacob Morton during his stay at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center. The New England Patriots cheerleaders joined with singers Melina Leon and Jamie O'Neal to visit servicemembers...

  • Spc. Marcela Supnet decides which quilt to select at the wounded warrior Ministry Center at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center. The handmade quilts and other items are dispensed to Wounded Warriors and other patients at the hospital.

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    Spc. Marcela Supnet decides which quilt to select at the wounded warrior Ministry Center at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center. The handmade quilts and other items are dispensed to Wounded Warriors and other patients at the hospital.

  • Lt. Cdr. Mitchel Ideue provides bedside physical therapy to Sgt. Rodolfo Martinez for injuries sustained  when he was buried alive by a terrorist vehicle bomb explosion in Afghanistan. Martinez is a forward observer assigned to the 508th Infantry Regiment of the 82nd Airborne Division.

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    Lt. Cdr. Mitchel Ideue provides bedside physical therapy to Sgt. Rodolfo Martinez for injuries sustained when he was buried alive by a terrorist vehicle bomb explosion in Afghanistan. Martinez is a forward observer assigned to the 508th Infantry...

  • Jenny Clayton stocks shelves at the Wounded Warrior Ministry Center. She is one of 22 volunteers who donate a collective 600 hours a month to the center.

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    Jenny Clayton stocks shelves at the Wounded Warrior Ministry Center. She is one of 22 volunteers who donate a collective 600 hours a month to the center.

Sgt. Rodolfo Martinez was medevaced to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany, following a vehicle-bomb explosion in Afghanistan that also trapped him beneath rubble. The forward observer, assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division's 508th Infantry Regiment, would like to return to LRMC one day, but in a different capacity, he said.

His journey to LRMC began in March with the blast that killed two of his friends - Sgt. Robert Rapp and Spc. Stephen Koch - and buried Martinez beneath three feet of rubble inside a collapsed building. When he regained consciousness, he panicked and began trying to dig his way out. But his struggle only caused more dirt to fall.

Martinez stopped when he realized he would soon suffocate from breathing in the dirt. But the debris continued to fall and Martinez felt he was about to die. When the dirt finally stopped falling, he could hear Soldiers searching for survivors. They heard his screams for help but couldn't determine where he was.

Summoning all his strength, Martinez moved the rubble slightly enough to be found by rescuers, who extricated him and soon had him on his way to Bagram Air Base for a medical-evacuation flight to Germany.

When his aircraft landed at Ram-stein Air Base, Martinez and other wounded Soldiers were loaded onto a blue ambulance bus for the short trip to LRMC. They were among more than 46,000 servicemembers and civilians who have made the same trek since Operation Enduring Freedom began in October 2001.

Martinez and four Soldiers from his platoon were among the patients on litters gently lowered from the tail end of the bus into the upraised hands of LRMC staffers. It's a scene that takes place virtually every day.

<b>A Warm Greeting </b>

The first interaction wounded Soldiers have with LRMC comes in the form of a chaplain who extends a warm greeting and reminds them they're safe and in good hands.

For Chaplain (Col.) James Griffith, LRMC is the place to be for a military chaplain.

"It's the best job I've ever had in the Army," said Griffith, whose staff includes six active-duty, Reserve and National Gu

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16