HEIDELBERG, Germany (Nov. 23, 2011) -- Under Secretary of the U.S. Army Joseph W. Westphal, along New York Yankees Outfielder Nick Swisher and his wife, Joanna Garcia Swisher, visited the U.S Army in Europe Nov. 22, 2011, on their way to Afghanistan to spend Thanksgiving with deployed Soldiers.

During their trip, USAREUR Commander Lt. Gen. Mark P. Hertling accompanied Westphal and the Swishers while they visited wounded warriors at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, as well as the USO Warrior Center and Fisher House in Landstuhl.

They also visited Heidelberg, where Westphal met with USAREUR senior leaders, while the Swishers met with service members and family members at the dining facility on Campbell Barracks and the Warrior Zone on Patton Barracks.

The intent of Westphal's visit is to reiterate Army senior leaders' appreciation for the service and sacrifices that Soldiers, families and Department of the Army civilians have made.

Westphal's overseas tour includes several locations to meet with service members and civilians serving there. His messages to the service members and civilians are: People are our Army and we must ensure a highly capable force despite cost restraints. Westphal will also emphasize the Army's continued commitment to wounded warriors, energy innovation and the transformation of the institutional Army.