Broken television sets. Minimal access to music or magazines. A dismal clothing allowance.
That's what wounded U.S. servicemembers faced at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany when then-American Legion Commander Paul Morin visited in May 2007.
Morin returned to the United States with a mission: Raise $50,000 within a couple of months to purchase comfort items for recovering servicemembers at the military hospital in Landstuhl. The compassionate
Legion Family rallied to the cause, raising more than $257,000 by the deadline.
The money raised went to purchase television sets, stereos, long-distance calling cards, pool tables and other items to make the warriors' stay at Landstuhl as comfortable as possible.
Operation Landstuhl grew into Operation Comfort Warriors in December 2008 by then-Commander David K. Rehbein.
Since then, OCW has continued to provide comfort items to those recovering in military hospitals and transition throughout the U.S. and at overseas facilities.
The program received a big boost in 2010.
OCW beat more than 700 other charities in an online contest sponsored by Pepsi. OCW won first place and $250,000, which went to purchase comfort items for recovering U.S. servicemembers.