News & Events
Long-Awaited Visit to Camp Dodge - St. Anthony Nursing Home Grants a "Bucket List" Wish



Tuesday, 10 July 2012
Louis' wish was for a visit to Camp Dodge in Des Moines to see what was left there of his Army records.

On Monday morning, June 25, St. Anthony Nursing Home granted this wish, when Louis, his son Larry of Breda, daughter Diane of Emmetsburg, and granddaughter Rachel of Omaha, along with St. Anthony Nursing Home activity director, AuraLee Sibenaller, boarded the Region XII transit bus to embark on an adventuresome, fun-filled day at Camp Dodge.

When the group arrived at their destination, Louis was thrilled when his three other children—Jim of Chicago, Suzanne of Omaha, Michael and son Jacob of Minneapolis— also showed up to share in the day’s memorable events.  “The trip was made even more special by the Lord allowing me to see all my children and a couple of my grandchildren on this memorable day,” Louis commented.

The visit began with a tour by Mike Vogt, curator, who showed Louis a scrapbook of large black and white photographs of military men preparing to ship out for World War II.  Some of the photos showed the soldiers getting their hair buzzed and their uniforms being issued, both of which Louis remembered very well.

The group also went on a tour of the museum, which included many war exhibits, including pictures, uniforms, weapons, and other wartime artifacts. Having served in World War II, Louis was most interested in the relics from that time period. As the tour continued, Mr. Vogt presented Louis with his personal Army records which had been retained at the Camp. The records included Louis’ name, rank, and a listing of places where he had been stationed during World War II. Louis was very proud to share this information with his children and grandchildren.

At the conclusion of the museum tour, Louis and his family were treated to a picnic lunch in a park on the Camp Dodge grounds.  Louis noted that the barracks where he had stayed just before shipping out to war were just across the street from the park.

Sharing his feelings about the tour, Louis remarked that a lot of things had changed since he had been to Camp Dodge before being shipped out to Fort Bliss, Texas for his tour of duty during World War II. “There were only a few buildings when I was here at that time, and now it’s the size of a small town!” he commented.

Noting, however, that some things had not changed, Louis remembered the old barracks, along with the railroad tracks that ran through the camp. Those tracks, which carried Louis out of Iowa and off to war, are now gone, but the raised ground still marks their prior location.

In summing up his “Bucket List” trip, Louis said, “I thank St. Anthony Nursing Home for giving me the opportunity to enjoy this long-awaited trip, made even more perfect by having my children and grandchildren there.  They were all wonderfully impressed by seeing so many artifacts of the equipment we used in World War II to protect our country.”
 


St. Anthony Regional Hospital & Nursing Home
311 S. Clark
Carroll, IA 51401