St. Louis Gateway Chapter (St. Louis, MO) 

May 2009 - Dedication ceremony for the Aero-Medical Staging Facility at Scott Air Force Base. The chapter sponsored the common TV/sitting area at the facility that supports Wounded Warriors returning stateside to ETS or continue on for further care. The warriors who have stayed at the facility have given rave reviews of the room and have greatly enjoyed the leather couches, LCD TV and Nintendo Wii.

April 2009 - The Gateway Chapter recently adopted a room as the Scott Air Force Base Aero-Medical Staging Facility which is used as a temporary home for wounded warriors as the return to CONUS for further treatment or ETS. Dan Schoenekase, V.P. of Military/Civilian Relations, led the effort to make over the lobby/TV room area of the facility to make the wounded warriors feel more at home and more comfortable during their stay.

The facility was very stark like a typical government facility and provided very little comfort. VA Hospital/Government facility seating and surrounding furniture did not provide a nurturing or relaxing environment for the warriors. The chapter replaced all of the furniture with leather sofas and chairs, real wood bookcases, table w/chairs, coffee table, and end tables and decorations to make those passing through feel more at home. The stark lighting was supplemented with incandescent light. The chapter purchased a new HD LCD TV, HD antennae, Blu-Ray DVD player and Nintendo Wii. The total cost of the project was approx $5,000 and over 100 man hours were put into the project to repaint, install the wood border and bring in the furniture.

As hard as it is to believe, this is the same space as the "before" picture. Except for the "Nurse Manager 168" sign on the wall, the area does not even resemble a hospital let alone a government medical facility. Every wounded warrior who has passed through the facility has praised the new room and said how much it has helped provide a comfortable area for them during the transition.

The dedication ceremony will be held on 5/9/08 at the facility. An AUSA wall plaque will be hung that will carry a mounted AUSA medal and a note from the chapter thanking the warriors for their service and what they have given for their country.