All -

Since I have been in the trenches for the past five months of providing care, comfort and support for my personal Wounded Warrior, Karen Stevens requested that I put together some tips for both chapters and individuals in dealing with this aspect of military service. I will apologize in advance for the length of the posting but I have tried to be somewhat comprehensive in my information.

My thoughts and prayers are with any family that has to put any of this to actual use.

All BSM members should have a valid, current passport whether your service member is currently deployed or not. If you do not have a passport, please get one NOW - applications are available at the post office. Yes, the military can assist you with getting a passport in the event of an emergency; however, it will probably delay you if you are trying to travel to your injured service member's bedside outside of the US - such as Landstuhl Medical Center, Germany. And hours can make a difference in making plane connections.

*If you go to Landstuhl, the military requires that you have an International Drivers License to operate a car in Germany.

You should know your service member's rank, Social Security number, military unit/organization.

If you get The Dreaded Phone Call that your service member has been injured - get a spiral notebook - date and time all entries and who is talking to you. Write down everything that they tell you in one central location and keep adding information as it comes in. That becomes your log or diary - you will never remember everything or anything simply because you are in a state of shock.

Things to pack to take with you -
Comfortable shoes and clothes - easy to care for/layer up and down for temperature differences.
Backpack - ditch the purse - the backpack becomes the tote bag, brief case, purse - whatever. A backpack leaves your hands free to deal with crutches, wheelchair and assisting an injured service member. >