German official visits U.S. wounded at Landstuhl
November 15, 2003
LANDSTUHL, Germany — Germany’s minister of defense stopped by Landstuhl Army Medical Center this week to thank U.S. troops for their efforts in the war on terrorism.
Peter Struck visited servicemembers in the hospital’s intensive care unit and three other wards. He spoke with 10 who were wounded in Iraq and presented them with a token medal from the German Ministry of Defense and a certificate.
As of Thursday, 7,948 servicemembers and civilians serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom have been treated at Landstuhl.
“I would like to make clear that the German government is very interested in the injured in Iraq and their well-being,” Struck said.
Pfc. Matthew Van Buren, of Baumholder’s 2nd Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment of the 1st Armored Division, was one of the soldiers who spoke with Struck.
“When I realized his importance in the political structure here, it was like Donald Rumsfeld coming here,” said Van Buren, who received shrapnel injuries when his convoy was attacked. “It shows that there is hope for the political ties between Germany and the U.S.”
Cpl. Tanner Hoag of the 101st Airborner added as he cradled his broken arm: “It gives me a sense of pride that he came. “I was just doing my job.”