Support our mission
Volunteers from the Army and Air Force help unload a bus carrying wounded just in from Iraq on Thursday at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center.

Volunteers from the Army and Air Force help unload a bus carrying wounded just in from Iraq on Thursday at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center. (Ben Bloker / S&S)

Volunteers from the Army and Air Force help unload a bus carrying wounded just in from Iraq on Thursday at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center.

Volunteers from the Army and Air Force help unload a bus carrying wounded just in from Iraq on Thursday at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center. (Ben Bloker / S&S)

A patient grips the window frame on the Air Force bus that brought him to Landstuhl for treatment.

A patient grips the window frame on the Air Force bus that brought him to Landstuhl for treatment. (Ben Bloker / S&S)

Tech. Sgt. Amanda Carter, left, and Capt. Robin Petkewich help move Marine Maj. Keith Schuring after his arrival at Landstuhl, Germany.

Tech. Sgt. Amanda Carter, left, and Capt. Robin Petkewich help move Marine Maj. Keith Schuring after his arrival at Landstuhl, Germany. (Ben Bloker / S&S)

Tech. Sgt. Edilberto Ruiz, a chaplain’s assistant with the Air National Guard, prepares gurneys as the first of four buses carrying wounded from Iraq arrives at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center on Thursday.

Tech. Sgt. Edilberto Ruiz, a chaplain’s assistant with the Air National Guard, prepares gurneys as the first of four buses carrying wounded from Iraq arrives at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center on Thursday. (Ben Bloker / S&S)

Volunteers help unload the first of four buses carrying wounded just from Iraq on Thursday at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center.

Volunteers help unload the first of four buses carrying wounded just from Iraq on Thursday at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center. (Ben Bloker / S&S)

LANDSTUHL, Germany — Landstuhl Regional Medical Center saw a two-month spike in the number of wounded troops it treated in September and October, but the rate has dropped this month, hospital officials say.

Landstuhl saw 260 servicemembers with combat injuries in October, the fourth deadliest month for U.S. troops in Iraq with 105 deaths. A nearly identical number — 261 — were treated in September, even though there were only 71 deaths.

Those treated during September and October were a 40 percent increase from August when the hospital had 186 battle-injured troops. But November is on pace to have a significant drop: As of Friday, the hospital had seen 86 battle-injured servicemembers, which puts November on pace for about 150 battle-injured troops this month.

Although he had not run the statistics, Col. (Dr.) Stephen Flaherty, chief of general surgery and trauma service at Landstuhl, said there was no question the hospital staff has been busy.

“We have anecdotally, emotionally felt the increase,” he said. “October definitely just felt like a busy month for us. … It always seems busy. I guess it’s so busy that you really just remember the most recent activity. It’s hard to sort of remember, ‘Gee, what was life like in August?’”

In Fallujah, Iraq, the frequency of mortars and roadside bombs targeting the Marines of 1st Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment increased in October, said Marine Lance Cpl. Armando Castro.

The 23-year-old from Fort Smith, Ark., was wounded in Fallujah on the last day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in late October. A roadside bomb exploded under the Humvee in which Castro was the turret gunner. Everyone in the vehicle survived; Castro made it through with severe bruises and some minor burns.

“We knew it was going to be one of those months because of Ramadan,” he said recently while recovering at Landstuhl.

“We wanted to get out there more. We were out there quite a bit. We were doing mission after mission. We showed them that we weren’t scared at all.”

It seemed that the Marines in Fallujah had to be a little more cautious in October, Castro said. In September, the Marines were not hit as much as in October, Castro said.

“All of the sudden [in October], they were coming at us with [rocket-propelled grenades],” he said. “They were coming at us with mortars. They were coming at us with everything they had.”

Battle-wounded troops treated at Landstuhl

Battle-wounded troops treated at Landstuhl

August 186

September 261

October 260

November *86

* November figures are as of Nov. 17.

Source: Landstuhl Regional Medical Center


Stripes in 7



around the web


Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up