Browns visit Stokes V.A. Medical Center

Posted May 23, 2013

CLEVELAND -- Several members of the Cleveland Browns visited the Louis Stokes V.A. Medical Center in Cleveland on Wednesday.

CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Browns continued their year-round support of the United States military with a visit to the Louis Stokes V.A. Cleveland Medical Center on Wednesday afternoon. The visit came just before the Memorial Day holiday weekend.

Browns tight end Jordan Cameron, wide receiver Travis Benjamin, punter Spencer Lanning, and long-snapper Christian Yount spent time visiting patients in common areas, as well as their private rooms, playing cards with wounded veterans and competing in a game of bowling on a Nintendo Wii.

“It’s a special thing,” Cameron said. “They’ve sacrificed so much, and they do a lot for our country. We just play football. We look to them a lot, what they do for our country, and it’s a huge honor for us to come here, help them out a little bit and get their minds off the routine things they do every day. I’m excited to be here. It’s the least that we can do.”

Lanning added, “It means the world to us, the entire team. We’re here, really, in appreciation for these guys, and when you think about what they’ve given for our freedom and the ability to play professional football, it really means the world to us.”

The Louis Stokes V.A. Cleveland Medical Center is the second-largest of the 152 in the country. On a given day, the Stokes V.A. takes care of 520 in-patient veterans and serves more than 3,500 on an out-patient basis.

“When you’re in a hospital bed and you’re not feeling great, and you’ve got your hometown team come to visit you in their jerseys, sitting down and playing cards, giving t-shirts or banners, it means an infinite amount to these veterans,” said Susan M. Fuehrer, the director of the Stokes Medical Center. “They will be talking about this for months to come. Our veterans love our Browns.

“The veterans are our nation’s heroes, and none of us would be here, and none of us would be free if they didn’t have the courage to go fight for us. For them, our nation’s heroes to have our football heroes here, our celebrities, it is great. They love to be able to tell their friends and families that, ‘Hey, the Browns thought enough about the veterans to come and visit me here in the hospital.”

Wednesday’s visit was especially meaningful to Lanning and Yount. Lanning has extended family and friends stationed in South Korea and Germany, while Yount’s father and best friend served in the United States Marine Corps. Yount’s grandfathers also served the country, one as a Marine, and the other in the Army Airborne Division.

“People look up to us, but to me, I look up to those guys because they’re truly the heroes,” Lanning said. “When you think about what these guys go through and have been through, to know that we have the ability to make these guys smile and at least brighten up their day a little bit, it’s an awesome feeling.

Yount added, “Just coming out here and giving up a little bit of time to say hi to guys and thank them for their service and for all they did for our country, it means a lot. Some of them have made huge sacrifices for us and give us the opportunity to be able to go out and play football. We’re the ones that should be here every chance that we get thanking them for everything that they did.”

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