The Capitol Carvers, a senior group from Salem, Ore., donated a number of hand-carved walking canes to injured Army National Guard soldiers currently stationed at Madigan Army Medical Center in Fort Lewis, Wash., June 8. The Capitol Carvers, who meet once a week at the North Salem Senior Center to share their hobby of carving wood, bone, and stone, decided to donate their time and love of carving to help injured Soldiers. Photo by Oregon National Guard Tech. Sgt. Nick Choy.
About ten members of the Capitol Carvers made the three-hour drive to Madigan Army Medical Center in Fort Lewis, Washington, to meet with Oregon National Guard Soldiers who are recovering at MAMC from wounds received while deployed to the Middle East.
The group presented Soldiers with hand-carved walking canes. Each cane came with an accompanying letter thanking the individual Soldier for their sacrifice and service. The letter also highlighted the Capitol Carvers' background and history, and explained the type of wood used in each walking cane.
The Capitol Carvers are comprised primarily of Oregon seniors. The group meets once a week at the North Salem Senior Center in Salem, Oregon, to carve items ranging from animals, people and caricatures, in various mediums, including stone, wood and bone. The group's organizers were inspired by a similar group in North Carolina, which carved a number of walking canes for injured members of a Marine unit who recently returned to that state.
Of the 50 walking canes initially requested by Washington Army National Guard Family Resource Coordinator, Sheryl Obermiller, 43 have been completed. The group intends to complete the the last of the 50 canes, but plans to carve more as they are needed, said Capitol Carver Vice President, Louis K. Wakefield, Sr.
"We wanted to show our support and love of our troops in a very physical, personal way," Wakefield said.Many of the Soldiers who received their walking canes today already had simple canes which could be bought at any store. But according to Spc. David Lamberson of Charlie Co., 579 Engineers, California Army National Guard, his new cane came with something no store-bought cane could ever have -- a personal touch.
"You can tell a lot of time and love was put into these canes," Lamberson said. "This shows that somewhere, somebody cares, and they're willing to take the time to show it," he added.
Oregon National Guard Press Release