On 21 January, 2011 the USO partnered with the Wounded Warrior Project to host “LRMC Staff Appreciation Day” at Heaton Auditorium on Landstuhl Regional Medical Center. The medical center is often the first stop for the wounded from war zones and has treated more than 6,000 patients.
The event consisted of a delicious catered Italian lunch and two comedy shows in the evening. During the lunch, live music was performed by the rock band Pierce with some participation from Adam Duritz of the band Counting Crows. Col. John Cho, LRMC Commander, would break in every 20-30 minutes to thank the medical staff for their efforts. Col. Cho would also introduce two wounded warriors, Dan Nevins and Shilo Harris, who shared their stories of survival and personally thanked all the medical staff. Harris, now a retired staff sergeant, had been burned badly in a roadside bomb blast in Iraq on Feb. 19, 2007. “It has been an emotional roller coaster,” he said. “Being back here, there are no words to describe it. Every time I talk to somebody, I just want to hug them.”
Nevins, also a retired staff sergeant, had both legs amputated after a roadside bomb blast in Iraq on Nov. 10, 2004.He initially thought his life “was over,” but now skis and snowboards and hopes to be an inspiration for other wound troops. “The staff here never gets to see the fruits of their labor,” he said. “I represent the thousands of injured troops who have been saved, thanks to them.”
In the evening, comedians Jeffrey Ross, Sarah Tiana, Colin Kane, Stewart Stone, and Robert Klein, along with Adam Duritz, put on two truly outstanding comedy and musical shows that entertained over 350 medical staff members. The incredible energy at this event was only exceeded by the emotion of the persons that particpated.