Soldiers? Certainly. But this story is about spouses.
You must read the whole thing.
One day in early April, Hummel got a short e-mail from her husband, 1st Sgt. Alan Hummel, whose Company A troops are attached to Task Force 1-18 in Tikrit.
One of my soldiers is injured, he wrote. Go to Landstuhl and see him.
She invited Twist to help with the 190-mile drive. When they arrived and began navigating the crowded hallways packed with injured troops, they felt as if they’d landed on the set of a TV medical drama.
“We walked right into the middle of turmoil,” Hummel said. “There was stretcher after stretcher. There was a limb missing here, an eye missing there.”
They carried a handful of snacks for Staff Sgt. Eugene Simpson — the 1-77 Armor soldier they’d come to visit — feeling naked. The troops, they said, looked scared and alone, their eyes begging for some reassurance.
“It all changed that day, when we saw those searching faces,” Twist said.
So Hummel and Twist pooled their money and headed for an Army and Air Force Exchange Service shoppette. They spent all they had buying snacks, and returned to the ward to hand them out. The enthusiasm of the troops moved them to tears — some of the wounded even offered to pay them...
In the two months since, the pair’s effort has blossomed into Operation in FAITH (Friends Aid Injured Troops Hospitalized). Seeking to expand their effort, they gained the support of Lt. Col. Keith Wright, chaplain for the Schweinfurt-based 280th Base Support Battalion.
Wright said, coincidentally, he’d received a request from his counterpart at Landstuhl, asking for help in meeting immediate needs of injured soldiers who were then arriving by the planeload.
Hummel and Twist’s effort is in keeping with their strong Christian faith.
“The need is not always ‘Come and talk to me about Christ,’ ” Twist said. “It’s soldiers who have an immediate need, and we can meet it. Sometimes that goes a lot further.”