In August, my husband LTC Robert Morschauser, deployed his Battalion to Mahmaydiyah, Iraq for a 12 month, now 15 month tour. Sadly, on February 2, 2007, our unit suffered our first KIA. Capt Kevin Landeck was killed in action when his vehicle struck an IED. Kevin was 26 years old, married for a year, loved by all who knew him. As the unit remained forward, those of us here scrambled for ways to afford airfare for the funeral in Chicago. It is certainly no cliché to say that when you join the Army, you become part of a unique family within itself. It was not an option for those in a leadership role not to attend Kevin’s services. I contacted Mr. Fricke and he immediately sprung into action. Within hours I was told that not only had he secured air transportation, but ground transportation as well. This remarkable generosity enabled myself (Battalion Commanders Spouse), the Battery Commander’s spouse, the Battery lst SG (home on r & r) and his wife, to attend the funeral. Our presence at Kevin’s funeral affected those involved in different forms. It helped us to provide comfort and support to Kevin’s wife Bethany, as well as his parents. It also gave our husbands solace in the fact that although they could not attend, there was proper representation on behalf of the unit. We were able to provide the link between his unit family in Iraq to his family mourning him in Illinois.
When the Fischer House initially provided me w/ the veteran airlift command contact info, I found it hard to believe that such generosity would be extended. However, after speaking w/ Mr. Fricke and our pilot, Mr. Quinn, I realized their genuine care, dedication and support for soldiers and their families. The level of professionalism and kind manner in which they conducted themselves is remarkable. While “thank you” seems like such an inadequate response to your actions, I will say it anyway “THANK YOU” on behalf of the soldiers and families of 2-15 FA BN. I look forward to the day that Veterans Airlift no longer needs to exist, but when that day comes, I will know that I have been touched by amazing people who were a part of it.