Airmen collect clothes to help wounded warriors

  • Published
  • By Capt. Jeremy J. McClure
  • 185th ARW Public Affairs
Airmen with the Iowa Air National Guard's 185th Air Refueling Wing collected nearly 3,000 articles of new clothing during the month of February that will be donated to help wounded warriors being treated at the U.S. Army's Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany.

Members of the unit's Junior Enlisted Council, JEC, organized the effort to collect the items and will be delivering the clothing to Germany.

"While I was stationed at Geilenkirchen (Geilenkirchen NATO Air Base, Germany), I learned of the Chaplains' Closet that provides clothing and personal items to wounded warriors being treated at Landstuhl," said Col. David S. McKinney, a pilot with the 185th ARW.

According to the Landstuhl Public Affairs Office, The Chaplains' Closet was started to help meet the needs of service members who were being treated at the hospital after being injured in places like Afghanistan and Iraq and whose bags and personal items had been left behind.  

"I brought the idea of donating items to the Chaplains' Closet to the Junior Enlisted Council and they ran with it," said McKinney.

Since introducing them to the idea in February, the members of the JEC reached out to colleges, churches, and other community organizations during their free time.

"We typed up a proposal letter, edited it, and sent it out to those organizations," said Airman 1st Class Makayla Knight, an orderly room clerk with the unit's Maintenance Group and member of the JEC.

"They are giving quality clothing too," said Senior Airman Brittany Miller, president of the JEC. "Brand new athletic wear and dress clothes have been donated."

The clothing is being sent to Landstuhl with one of the members of the JEC who is deploying to the area.

They plan on continuing to collect items for the Chaplains' Closet and hope to also contribute items to other facilities treating wounded warriors.

The JEC is comprised of members of the unit who are newer to the Air Guard and is a means for them to get involved in activities around the base to improve morale and develop leadership skills.

"This is exactly what I was hoping would happen is that I could find a group that would be excited about this and take off with it," said McKinney speaking on the JEC's efforts.

During their free time, members of the JEC are still collecting donations of clothing and personal items to be sent to help the Chaplains' Closet and the Wounded Warrior Project.

For more information on donating to the Chaplains' Closet, the JEC can be contacted via email at

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