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Letter from Ben , 82nd Airborne – Operation Healing Angel

Dear Alessandra and volunteers:

Thank you so much for all you are doing. We really appreciate it! We received a shipment of stuffed animals (care of Ms. Lawson) and, despite the fact that our puppy, Trigger was a big fan and wanted them all for himself, we took them over to the trauma unit we have here, run my the US Army.

Our first recipient was a 5 year-old little girl who had been badly burned. These burn injuries seem to be quite frequent here in Afghanistan. We treated several other children about a month ago, which you may have heard. In any case, she was quite upset– in addition to her injuries– she was in a strange place, with strange people. We tried our best to reassure her, via our interpreter, but to no avail.

One of the Army medics thoughtfully pulled a brightly colored plush caterpillar from that box of stuffed animals. She was transfixed. Once we allowed her to wrap her arms around it and hug it against her cheek, she was soothed. It was touching.

It made our job of cleaning her burns much easier. Her skin was much less damaged than was originally thought. She is recovering well, and will have minimal scarring, if any.

We thank you.

Very Respectfully,
HM1 Benjamin M Taylor
On behalf of 82nd Airborne CAB/ 758th FST Medical team
FOB Lagman, Afghanistan