Jul 21, 2006

Mega-star Cher pays visit to KMC troops
By Todd Goodman
Landstuhl Regional Medical Center
Jul 21, 2006, 09:37

There are celebrities and then there are mega-stars. Landstuhl Regional Medical Center has seen its fair share of the former, but when Cher walked the halls it was like a stampede – reminiscent of only one other star’s visit –Schwarzenegger.

Cher’s July 12 visit to the Army hospital was a tremendous boost to the morale of patients and staff alike. She made it clear that patients were her top priority.

She and her Polaroid camera remained in patients’ rooms upwards of 15 minutes per patient – chatting and really listening to what the person had to say. At the end, she snapped a Polaroid of herself and the patient, then autographed it.

The singer/actress is involved in Operation Helmet, a cause to which she has donated $130,000 to make servicemembers’ helmets more effective against concussive blasts.

Cher is no stranger to visiting the wounded – she’s been to Walter Reed Army Medical Center and Bethesda Naval Hospital. But, this was her first visit to LRMC, which she admitted she didn’t know existed.

Thanks to LRMC Commander Col. W. Bryan Gamble, she knows now.

“Your boss, what’s his name?” Cher asked. “Yeah, well, we met at Walter Reed and he asked me, ‘Why aren’t you at Landstuhl? You need to be over there. Go to Landstuhl.’ So, I said, ‘Yes, Sir’, and here I am.”

And she did it on her own dime. There was no big to-do or fuss in trying to get her here. She called the United Service Organizations and the hospital, then booked her ticket.

“I don’t just do this out of a sense of duty,” she said. “I do it because I have a blast doing it. I don’t have to be for this war to support these men and women. They are brave young men and women doing what they are told.”
Cher said she wants to get more involved, eventually going to Baghdad and places outside of the Green Zone. It first, however, must cool down a bit for two reasons. She’ll be too cranky to be any fun. And she doesn’t want to “wilt like some old magnolia blossom.” She also said she intends to come back to LRMC with some of her celebrity friends who also are keenly interested in making the trip.  

“I have a lot of cool friends who would gladly come here, but there just isn’t a lot of information out there as to how to do it,” she said. “But I can promise you one thing. I will come back here.”



Photo by Spc. Todd Goodman
Renowned singer and actress Cher gives Spc. Hollis Richardson, 5th Engineer Battalion, a surprise bedside
visit July 12 at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center. This
was her first visit to LRMC, but she assured the staff that
it won’t be her last.

Photo by Capt. Erin Dorrance
Cher signs Senior Airman Heather Grant’s arm cast.
Airman Grant is deployed to Ramstein’s 435th
Aerospace Medicine Squadron.



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