Today CN salutes Lt. Colonel Melody Mount. Mount is not just a soldier to me, but a dear friend as well. Over the years I have known her when the Army calls…she’s in and serves honorably. Mount shares about her service during her deployments.
I have been in nursing for 27 years and in the Army Reserve for coming on 20 years.
I worked in the operating room at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center (LRMC) in Landsthul Germany. The hospital there serves all of Europe and Southwest Asia. LRMC is the hospital that soldiers who are serving in Afghanistan and were in Iraq are taken if injured or sick and cannot return to duty within a specified time frame. It is one of 2 hospitals that serve routine care for soldiers stationed in the European area, the other one is a smaller hospital with limited specialty care.
The treatment cycle is; in the field at point of injury and then depending on the nature of injury they can be taken to what we call role 2 care where they can receive life/limb saving care including surgery, or they can be taken directly to what we call the role 3 care, the Combat Support Hospital where they can receive more definitive care. As I mentioned earlier, if the injury or illness is such that they cannot be returned to duty within a specified time or they need more specialized care then they are transported back to LRMC. On a rare occasion, mostly with burns do soldiers bypass LRMC and come directly back to the U.S.
Most patients just wanted to get better so they could go back to their units. The biggest things that we were sensitive to in treatment is to make sure that they were not exposed to sudden loud noises, to make sure and let them know where they were when coming out of anesthesia, and good pain control.
LRMC treats all branches of the military and also contractors that are serving in the combat zones. They also treat dependents and retirees. LRMC is currently being staffed by Army, Air Force and Navy healthcare providers.
The most rewarding part of my job is just being there for people when they are most vulnerable, going into surgery, and trying to make their experience a good one. Overall as a nurse it is rewarding when I can make patients and family members day better.
MORE ABOUT LANDSTUHL REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER
Landstuhl – A Historic CityLandstuhl has a rich past which can be traced to Celtic times. Several sites and discoveries confirm the presence of Roman soldiers during the past. In the Middle Ages, the area consisted of 12 farms and was the property of the Bishop of Worms. In 1518, the city became the property of Franz von Sickinger, the Last German Knight. In 1796, the city was occupied by French forces and later became part of the French Empire under Napoleon Bonaparte. After the French defeat at Waterloo, Landstuhl became the property of the Kingdom of Bavaria. The establishment of the German Reich brought wealth to the city, along with the foundation of several breweries and factories. The city was known as a spa resort due to rich mud found around the previously wooded area surrounding Landstuhl. The mud baths healed women suffering from female diseases or arthritis.WORLD WARs I & IIAt the end of World War I, the German soldiers who died in the war were buried in a small cemetery near the chapel in downtown Landstuhl. In 1934, construction of the Mannheim-Saarbrücken Autobahn (a roadway now known as A6) began. In early 1938, the construction of the Hitler Jugend Schule (Hitler Youth School) began here and several buildings on the Landstuhl U.S. Military post still standing today were part of that construction. On March 19, 1945, U.S. troops entered Landstuhl and liberated the city.American PresenceOn November 28, 1951, 15 medics, who comprised the 320th General Hospital, took operational control of the hospital in Landstuhl. Construction of a 1000-bed American-run hospital began several weeks later. In April, 1952, the area of Kirchberg Kaserne was also designated as Wilson Barracks, in honor of Cpl. Alfred Wilson, an American medic who died in World War II.Medical Treatment BeginsOn March 9, 1953, 375 patients were moved into the not-yet-completed American hospital at Landstuhl. The dedication ceremony took place on April 5, 1953. The following year, the 320th General Hospital was renamed the 2nd General Hospital.Healthcare during the Cold WarThroughout the Cold War, the 2nd General Hospital continued to expand its structure and modernize its equipment, thus improving its capabilities. The hospital was a staple in the European Theater, providing healthcare during several high-profile incidents. Some of these included the treatment of U.S. Marines injured during the aborted 1980 rescue attempt of American hostages in Iran and those injured in the 1983 bombing of the U.S. Marine Corps barracks in Beirut, Lebanon. Soldiers were also treated at the hospital after being injured in the 1986 LaBelle Disco bombing in Berlin, and in 1988, LRMC treated 500 casualties of the now-famous Ramstein Air Show disaster.LRMC’s Modern Day RoleIn 1994, the 2nd General Hospital was deactivated and the center was renamed the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center. Effective November 2003 the hospital was renamed as the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center. LRMC serves as the primary medical treatment center for casualties of U.S. operations within Europe, Southwest Asia and the Middle East. Personnel from all branches of the U.S. military serve here. During Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, the hospital served as a repatriation point for more than 4,000 American casualties and more than 800 U.S. Military personnel deployed to Somalia were treated here. LRMC is a fixed medical facility assisting in the Balkan operations. The hospital treated American and Kenyan victims of the U.S. Embassy bombing in Nairobi in August 1998 and played an integral part of the three American POWs repatriation. LRMC Personnel treated the sailors injured in the USS Cole bombing. Currently LRMC provides medical treatment to casualties injured in Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.(Current as of June 2009)