By Mr. Darryl Howlett (AMC)October 10, 2012
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Edward Studeny, of Davenport, Iowa, was not expecting a conversation with a Rock Island Arsenal general during his morning medical appointment.
Brig. Gen. Kevin G. O'Connell conducted his first visit to the Iowa City VA Medical Center Sept. 27, since becoming the JMC commander in early June.
Honoring the service of veterans, the commanding general of the Joint Munitions Command, wanted to make some veterans' day a little brighter.
O'Connell toured the facility with Barry D. Sharp, director of the Iowa City VA Medical Center.
"Hey, hello, sir," Studeny said. He later invited O'Connell and JMC Command Sgt. Major Anthony Bryant to his local VFW post in Davenport.
The general also met a feisty, octogenarian from Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
"I was in Patton's Third Army," said Max Hocken, proudly, as he perked up from his hospital bed.
"The Third Army is still around, sir," O'Connell replied back.
Hocken humored O'Connell with World War II stories from Europe.
Each patient was given a coin by O'Connell and a heartfelt handshake for their service.
Touring the medical center with O'Connell included Bryant, Aide-de-Camp Capt. Daniel Midgett and Staff Sgt. Wally McFadden, commander's driver.
The tour continued on several floors before ending in the general lobby area which houses the eye clinic. There, O'Connell passed out several more coins.
O'Connell came away appreciative of the visit and the veterans service.
"I get excited at every opportunity to get involved in the community," O'Connell said. "My visit to the VA hospital in Iowa City was a great experience. I had the chance to meet veterans from World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. It was an honor to spend time with veterans who have sacrificed so much for our country."
After the tour, O'Connell made his first visit to the Iowa Army Ammunition Plant in Middletown, Iowa.
From its headquarters in Rock Island, Ill., JMC operates a nationwide network of conventional ammunition manufacturing plants and storage depots, and provides on-site ammunition experts to U.S. combat units wherever they are stationed or deployed. JMC's customers are U.S. forces of all military services, other U.S. Government agencies, and allied nations.