LANDSTUHL, Germany — Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) (SS/SW) Rick D. West toured facilities and met with sailors and Marines at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center (LRMC) in Germany, June 9, to offer support for those wounded and recovering as well as praise the LRMC team for helping the service members in need.
"This visit to the Landstuhl medical center was very emotional and very humbling, particularly when you see the moms that are here to support their sons and daughters that we saw today," said West. "The folks who come through this hospital and the folks you see working at this hospital are our most precious asset. We have some great people doing great things, and it was good for me to get out here and see them."
During his visit to the U.S. Army medical facility, West had the opportunity to visit and speak with service members in the hospital's intensive care unit - an area with some of the critical patients. West also met with other wounded service members in the surgical ward and said the people that he saw in the ICU and surgical areas are "real military heroes."
After spending a majority of the day with hospital patients, West toured the rest of the facilities that are available to those recovering at Landstuhl. West walked through the United Services Organizations (USO) center, the Fisher House, the barracks, and the Morale, Welfare and Recreation facilities, personally thanking those who are directly supporting the wounded service members at or transitting through the LRMC.
"It's been a very awesome and motivating experience to see the MCPON visiting the medical center today," said Navy Hospital Corpsman 1st Class (SCW) Shalanda Brewer, the 2010 Navy Reserve Sailor of the Year. "To have our leadership come here and see that they are very passionate about what they are doing lets you know that we have great leaders and the Navy is going in the right direction, and I am excited to be apart of that."
West's tour of Landstuhl is the final stop of his 10-day Western Europe trip where he visited seven installations and support elements in England, Spain, Portugal and Germany.
West said he was surprised by the number of joint-military, multinational environments sailors and Marines work in throughout the European area.
"This trip was great because we went out to seek sailors, and that is what we did," said West. "I had the opportunity to talk with sailors in a lot of remote locations that wouldn't normally get a lot of visitors. What I found were sailors doing a great job in joint military environments, and to see people working shoulder-to-shoulder toward one goal is very satisfying for me."
West added that he will be focusing on visiting more areas within Europe over the next few months.