Many of the wounded who come here from Iraq or Afghanistan on their way home to the United States, arrive with nothing but whatever they happen to be wearing. Each is given a donated quilt. They also receive a $250 voucher to buy essentials at the BX and if they're not able to leave the hospital to shop, someone will do it for them.
There's also the "Chaplain's Closet." It's much bigger than a closet, actually a room filled with shelves loaded down with shirts, pants, jackets and socks. Some of the trousers and shirts are specially sewn by volunteers in the United States so they can open and close with Velcro so someone whose arm is in a sling or whose leg has a metal adductor attached to the skin can dress themselves.
Chaplain Joseph Sheldon, a Navy commander from Charlotte, N.C., showed me the "Chaplain's Closet" which also has clothes for family members of the wounded who sometimes don't have enough time to pack before hurriedly leaving or don't have jackets to ward off the winter cold.
There are many plastic tubs filled to the brim with toiletries and socks, book cases loaded down with paperbacks and magazines. The overflow is stored in a large warehouse on base.
Perhaps the most heartbreaking things Sheldon showed me were large storage containers of shoes in a variety of sizes and styles. Some said simply "left shoes" and "right shoes." They're for the wounded who no longer need a pair, but only one shoe.