U.S.

June 13, 2013

Airman gets unusual gift along with dental cleaning

Tags:
Sarah Marshall
Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Public Affairs
Gift_pict
2nd Lt. Jennifer Szatkowski holds up a decorative brown bag she made for service members more than a decade ago while in grade school. Szatkowski, a second year medical student with the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, saw the bag on a bulletin board where she was having her teeth cleaned.

BETHESDA, Md. (Army News Service) — When Air Force 2nd Lt. Jennifer Szatkowski came to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for a dental exam, she discovered an unusual coincidence that made her visit not-so-routine.

While having her teeth cleaned May 3, she noticed two brown paper bags hanging on a bulletin board in the exam room. Each bag was decorated with patriotic artwork. One of those, she was certain, had been made by her, more than a decade ago, when she was in grade school.

“When I first saw the bag, I thought my mind was playing tricks on me,” Szatkowski said. “I couldn’t believe something I had made so long ago, was hanging on the wall across from me in a dentist office at Walter Reed.”

The second year medical student at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences recalled drawing an American flag on the paper bag as part of a project about 12 years ago at her elementary school in Wisconsin, more than 700 miles away. On the bag, she spelled out what she thought “Soldiers” stood for: strong, outstanding, loyal, dedication, intelligent, enthusiasm, respected and strength.

The candy-filled bags made their way to the former National Naval Medical Center, where they were handed out by Red Cross volunteers. Carmen Torres, a registered dental hygienist in the Primary Care Dentistry Department, took three bags: one for her father, an Air Force veteran, and two for decoration. They’ve remained on display in the clinic since she first posted them on the bulletin board, about five years ago.

After Szatkowski’s exam, she told Torres, “you’re not going to believe what I’m going to tell you.”

At first, the dental hygienist thought maybe Szatkowski was suddenly feeling ill, or had concerns about the screening, but when the USU student began explaining that she created the bag, Torres said she was amazed.

“It gave me the chills,” Torres said.

Szatkowski remembers drawing the number “50” inside a star, next to the flag, to show she knew 50 stars were supposed to be on the flag, but she couldn’t fit them all. To be certain the bag was hers, she asked Torres if she could take the bag down for a closer look. Szatkowski said they would find “Jenny,” lightly written in pencil in the bottom right corner. The inscription was there.

“It was unbelievable that it was still around, and that it had traveled so far, from Butler, Wis.,” said Szatkowski.

Szatkowski is currently fulfilling her dreams of becoming a doctor. She was moved by the experience, reflecting on what her younger self thought of service members.

“The coincidence is unreal,” Szatkowski said.

She said that she would not take the bag home with her.

“I would rather have it serve its original purpose of letting America’s Soldiers know that they are loved and appreciated,” she said.

Word of Szatkowski’s discovery quickly spread through Primary Care Dentistry. Department head Dr. Kim Rumanes told her he appreciated the “heartfelt sentiment that went into creating [the bag] in the first place.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
(U.S. Air National Guard Photo by Staff Sgt. Gregory Ferreira)

Turkey Shoot inspires competition at 162nd Wing

The Maintenance and Operations Squadrons of the 162nd Wing competed in a Turkey Shoot held during March Unit Training Assembly. The 148th, 152nd, and 195th fighter squadrons competed to determine combat readiness and effectiven...
 
 

Service members involved in UH-60 crash identified

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (AFNS) — It is with a heavy heart that the U.S. Marine Corps Forces, U.S. Special Operations Command and the Louisiana National Guard formally announced the names of the seven Marines and four Soldiers who died in an Army UH-60 Black Hawk crash near Eglin Air Force Base, at approximately...
 
 

355th CES creates portable water system

The 355th Civil Engineer Squadron’s Water Fuels System Maintenance shop has developed an innovative portable water system for facilities that lose access to a potable water supply. The system was designed and developed by Karl Blair, 355th CES journeyman utility man, when he noticed that the shop’s water tank trailer was unusable.  Under his guidance,...
 

 

Just American: A century of Black life

COLUMBUS AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. (AFNS) — Black History Month, or National African American History Month, is an annual celebration of achievements by black Americans and a time for recognizing the central role of African Americans in U.S. history. The event grew out of “Negro History Week,” the brainchild of noted Harvard-trained historian Carter Woodson....
 
 

Pay dates increase for civilians in 2015

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas (AFNS) — Civilian employees will have 27 pay dates in 2015 compared to the usual 26, so some employees might need to adjust their Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) contribution elections to receive the maximum agency matching contributions for 2015. The Internal Revenue Code imposes a limit each year on the...
 
 
DT_pict4

Combat Search and Rescue: A Legacy Continues

An HH-60 Pave Hawk hovers 200 feet above the ground with a 600-pound load during a weight check at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti on Jan. 26. The weight check was to make sure the hoist was operational after being repaired. Master Sg...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin