IMCOM commander visits Kaiserslautern wounded warriors, spouses
March 12, 2010
KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany - "Are you my friend or my enemy," asked Lt. Gen. Rick Lynch, commander of Installation Management Command, to Pvt. Brian Lamson.
"I am the enemy, sir," the private humbly replied to Lynch.
Lamson had just become the U.S. Army Garrison Kaiserslautern's Better Opportunities for Servicemembers president five days before meeting his first three-star general, and now found himself briefing the IMCOM commander about the garrison's new Warrior Zone.
During the course of his March 9 briefing, the private ended up teaching the general how to play the videogame "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II."
Lamson said: "I ran up behind him and killed him (in the videogame), and he said 'What are you doing' You are supposed to let me kill you first.'"
The private replied, "Yes, sir."
The general, who took command of the organization that oversees 163 Army installations Nov. 2, was visiting Kaiserslautern as part of a European tour.
He was here for a little more than four hours before heading to USAG Heidelberg and GrafenwAfAPhr.
During his stop, Lynch made it a point to visit wounded Soldiers at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center and meet with Army spouses.
"He wanted an opportunity to talk to spouses, and we know that there are a lot of Soldiers and spouses who come in (the Java CafAfA) close to lunchtime," said Lt. Col. Kevin Hutchison, comamnder of USAG Garrison Kaiserslautern.
Lynch and his wife, Sarah, met about 10 Army spouses who represented a cross-section of the community from Landstuhl to East Kaiserslautern, including Michelle Settle, the Family Readiness Support assistant for the 357th Air and Missile Defense Detachment and 5th Battalion, 7th Air Defense Artillery.
Settle had met the general and his wife in 2008 at Fort Bliss, Texas.
"He took the concerns of the family members. He really wanted to know what needed to be fixed or what he could do to help," said Settle, who has been an Army spouse for 10 years. "Within probably two or three months after his visit, those things were fixed."
"He came and listened to what the spouses and family members had to say, and he made those changes," she added.
Crystal Curran, who has been an Army spouse for seven years, agreed that changes will be coming soon.
"He said to look for changes within the next two months, and I think we will see some changes coming down the pipe," said Curran, who added that the general and his wife were "very down to earth."
Hutchison noted that showing the general what needs to be improved in the community was a big factor in deciding the tour's schedule.
"We wanted to show him some of our success here in Kaiserslautern," Hutchison said, "but we also wanted to show him some of those things we would like to improve -that maybe we can get his help on to make better."
One of those successes is the garrison's new Warrior Zone, which is a part of the Department of Defense's initiative of "Return and Recreate," and supports the Army's Soldier Family Action Plan.
"(The Warrior Zone) is a place for Soldiers to relax and unwind after work," said Lamson when he briefed the general.
Lamson then cited the big flat-screen TVs, computer area with free internet and multiple video gaming systems which led to the virtual battle between the three-star general and private.