The Coast News Group

Daughters of American Revolution focus on hospital

RANCHO SANTA FE — The De Anza Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution met March 7 at the Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club and were treated to a surprise speaker, their own regent, Joanne Murphy.
After lunch, Murphy spoke movingly about the day-to-day happenings at Landsthul Military Hospital in Germany; situations that are often life-and-death. Landsthul is the main medical facility for our troops overseas. Every day wounded soldiers from Iraq arrive there. According to Murphy, since the war in Iraq began in March 2003, more than 28,000 patients have been treated at the facility. With a staff of more than 2,000 doctors and nurses, the Landsthul Military Hospital deals with emergency situations on a daily, if not hourly, basis.
Murphy shared the story of a young soldier who lost his leg in the war in Iraq in February 2008. The soldier is the son of a former military officer and his wife was expecting their first child, a girl. He was on patrol when an ambush took place, and his leg was severely wounded above the knee. Medics saved him from bleeding to death by attending to his knee and he was rushed via helicopters and planes — 3,000 long miles — to Landsthul Military Hospital. There, doctors and staff attended to his leg, which is now amputated. Back home again in California, Murphy met the young man while participating in the chapter’s “Dining with Wounded Warriors” programs. According to Murphy, the young man is still optimistic about his future and serving with his fellow soldiers.
Murphy has delivered this presentation about Landsthul to other DAR chapters around the state. Afterward, one of the DAR members asked Murphy, “How do you do this for other DARs without getting emotional? I was very emotional just listening to this.”
“It isn’t easy,” Murphy said, her voice cracking as she fought back tears. “It’s very emotional. They’re fighting for us. These young people are the best America has to give.”
The De Anza Chapter’s next meeting is April 4 and will celebrate its 75th Anniversary. Reservations are required by March 27. For more information, contact Treasurer Belle Bohn at (760) 732-3587.