Being the Best - Landstuhl Regional Medical Center

Germany- Being the best in the world is something that
ESPN X Games athletes; Mike Schultz and Levi LaVallee know a thing or two about, between the two men nearly a dozen ESPN X Games Gold and Silver Medals have been awarded. Over the past two days in the small towns of Landstuhl, Sembach and Ramstein -Miesenbach, Germany the two gravity defying geniuses of winter snowmobile racing and freestyle competition have been introduced to America's finest, our US Armed Forces!

'K Town' also known at Ramstein Air Base has for years served as the launch and recovery site for many of America's wounded heroes. With Air Force transport planes coming and going on a daily basis, teams of mechanics, weathercasters, medical staff and flight crews along with so many others all work in harmony to ensure that one very special group of servicemen get the best possible treatment, care and handling that can be provided.

Once US Air Force transport planes are loaded with wounded, supplies and joint service medical providers, they literally launch into the airspace above this peaceful agricultural region located in the central western part of Germany with destinations ranging from Andrews Air Base in Maryland to Lackland Air Base in Texas.

"We've got some weather out over the Atlantic and it's a little nasty at Andrews AB," reported the commander of a wounded warrior laden C17. Words that weren't lost on the special guests. LaVallee's crew chief and co-owner, Glen Kafka, recalled how the commander at Sembach Weather Station, LTC Wall and his team had given a comprehensive behind the scenes look at all that goes into weather casting for the region. "I knew full well where the information had come from and who had delivered it to this Mississippi Air National Guard team of flyers," said Kafka.

Providing information as to where the 'smooth air' can best be found is something that our US Military weathercasters take to heart. "The average traveler doesn't mind a little turbulence here and there, but we're not dealing with flights full of 'average anything', our travelers need as smooth a ride back to the U.S.A. as possible," stated one weather station airman.

As the X Games greats thanked everyone from United Services Organization volunteers to joint service medical care providers, it wasn't until Mike Schultz, of Pillager MN, found himself bedside next to a young US Army soldier that the mission he'd volunteered for really struck home. "I met a young man today, that like myself, was looking at life from in front of a mirror that now only included one leg," said Schultz. "I knew exactly how he was feeling, what was going on inside his head, what I didn't know was that my being there next to him and placing one of my X Games Gold Adaptive SnoX Medals on his chest, showing him my MotoKnee prostetic would cause his eyes to get so huge," recalled the 3x Adaptive above knee amputee of his time spent next to one of our recently amputated warriors. "I had no idea that being next to this young man showing him what I'm now capable of doing in sport would have such a positive impact," he added.

"We get a lot of visitors here at LRMC, but Mike, being able to show our wounded how he has continued to live and charge forward is something very special that doesn't happen everyday," said LTC Lisa Toven, USAF LMRC.

Between Schultz sharing his MotoKnee prostetic and Levi LaVallee comparing surgical scars, the two days at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center have been a mixture of one part Rocky and one part Jaws (the scene where marine biologist and ship's captain get into a 'oh ya...'), but in the end the final product has been one of resiliency, mixed carefully and nurtured gently, something that American300's Robi Powers has little doubt will be the case here at this World Class region of US Joint Service Military Bases for months to come.

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