Sunday, May 19, 2013
IT'S NOT ABOUT THE WAR~ IT'S ABOUT THE WARRIOR
There are lessons to be learned in almost everything we do. Some more poignant than others. and then there are some that drip with emotion and meaning and beg to be written about, to bring back the memories and to share them. This was such a day. Jeremy took 16 bullets to save the life of his friend in Afghanistan. He had been hospitalized... for eight months at the VA Polytrauma. He never once complained or cried out in pain. Not once.
He has endured more pain than can be imagined, with grace and courage, never knowing if he would have to lose a limb(s) or not. Today he was released. His Army escort was there but no fanfare, no flags, no family, no nothing. He hugged and thanked the staff and then he took Kelsie's leash, and we escorted him out of the unit. When we got off the elevator, he handed me the leash, hugged me and told me he loved us both and was so glad we had been there for him. Nothing would have kept us away on this momentous occasion. Jeremy we love you, now and always. You are our hero. You have taught me about bravery, about endurance, and about smiling through the pain. Because there is another side once you get through the tunnel.
Remembering this young man, a quote by Marie Beynon Ray comes to mind. "Begin doing what you want to do now. We only have this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand ~ and melting like a snowflake." Jeremy plans on volunteering his time to help troubled youth, volunteer in his church and continue with his education.
Jeremy's level of courage, that defies definition or description, is extraordinary. But to Jeremy the answer is simple, yet demanding, as he begins his journey leading a worthy life of purpose, the best way he can. No one of us can do more. None of us should wish to do less.
His story should capture the heart of Americans, for his story is unique and yet not so unique. As I returned to the unit, I glanced into his room to see staff disinfecting, cleaning, and making the room ready for the next warrior. I swallowed the lump in my throat and moved on to the next room and the next wounded warrior.