Saturday, May 19, 2007


I won't be typing for a couple of days but when I do start again I will be going VERY deep...

There's no place like home

After I found out I was going to be sent to Fort Bragg I was extremely upset. I could not believe it. After I had gone through all the crap, they had the nerve to take me away from my family again. It was so wrong to send me away. I needed to be home with my family to heal. It's very hard to get better when you are drugged and no one cares if you live or die. I am not exaggerating when I say that not ONE military personnel cared enough to even question where I was. Something that's even worse is when I contacted Missouri’s "Great" senator; his office took the fax and said they would get back to me that week. Guess what? No calls, not even a sorry letter. From that point on for 6 months I was led to believe that I would go home daily and then forgotten all together. I was lost in the paperwork and shuffled under the desk, not only did they forget they lost ALL my medical documents from when I got hurt. All I needed was some Ruby Red Slippers so I could go home.

ET Phone Home

When I arrived at Fort Sam Houston I had my 3rd surgery. After the surgery I woke in a “bubble”. They had special rooms for those wounded by explosives sealed off from the regular hospital. Everything was thrown away after it was used; everyone wore a suit protecting them. After seeing all this I wondered “where is my protection?” They were afraid of what I was exposed to so before they would take it off they had sent samples of blood to get checked out. I felt like I was ET, I was wounded, in a bubble and everyone around me looked like a scientist that wanted to poke and prod me.
I really try to make life the best that it can be. It is really hard to when you don’t have clothes on. Remember the whole no clothes thing? Just to let you know I didn’t get any clothes for fourteen days. By the way that was not a miss-type 14 days. However on the 15th day I was given a pair of red shorts… That is all. When my parents arrived they were allowed to take me out of the bubble and take me to the PX. There they have clothes and stuff. Brook Army Medical Center provided me a $500 Gift Card to the PX as part of a program that allows wounded troops to get clothing because they most likely lost everything like me. If you don’t know clothes are expensive at the PX so I didn’t get much, but I was so happy because I was civilized again.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


I traveled another 16 hours or so by the most comfortable C-5 plane ever and I arrived at Ft. Andrews AFB. I was tired as you could probably imagine so when I got there I was ready to sleep. When we landed we were greeted by lots of civilians who wanted to thank us but in the process slowed down the speed on which I got to go to sleep. I wasn’t to upset because these were nice and just wanted to show their support and say thank you. This is something that doesn’t happen that often. I have talked to soldiers who have been back for months and I was the first one to say “thanks for your service to our country”. For everything we have all been through it is important to say thanks to those who serve. If they weren’t out there doing the tough stuff we would be short a lot more than the WTC. If the U.S. had never stood up against terrorism they would still be bombing us. If you think it was bad in ’01 what if they hit us with a nuke or a dirty bomb? The media has blasted Bush for going into Iraq for no reason but I have seen WMD all over that country. They hid everything under the sand. We found rockets and facilities that were used to make the chemicals in such weapons all buried. One of the buildings we raided had literally tons of Atropine. If you don’t know it is used as a nerve agent antidote by U.S. soldiers. We also found chemical protective masks. Don’t be alarmed though the media says that there isn’t anything there. I would start planning your next vacation there right away before all the flights on Iraqistani-air are filled up. Good luck and try to avoid the mortars water balloons.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


On the second to last day I was in Germany the nurse told me I had to try walking with crutches. “NO” was the only thing I said. She insisted however and I had to. The reason this was a bad idea I thought was any time I even lowered my foot off the 3 pillows that were stacked on my bed, it hurt like crazy. She said it would help me not loose (as much) muscle in my leg. I didn’t care why they wanted me to do it, I just knew it hurt. Any way after the “great” journey down the hall they told me I would be leaving for the United States in the morning, also on the TV I saw that US soldiers had just killed Saddam’s sons. This was the best news so far. This was awesome because the only things I had heard on the news or from family while I was there was bad. Usually it was about how many soldiers were killed or how many insurgents we killed. Never was about anything good like how we helped the people by providing them with salt to clean there water with their filtration system. What about the time we rebuilt two schools that were destroyed by the enemy? Oh and by the way this was just in the small town my team was in, I haven’t even mentioned what went on in the rest of the country. I guess it just doesn’t make as good of a pay check for those reporters to report the “good truth”. I guess one way to look at it though is they did report the truth. Didn’t they?

Friday, May 11, 2007

A very nice glass farm

I had my 2nd surgery when I arrived in Germany and waking up after surgery sure was something. It was a good thing that I woke up but the down side was I felt horrible pain! When I was hit with the shrapnel earlier it had really hurt but at that time I had adrenaline pumping so the pain wasn’t so bad. However when I woke up after surgery I was in so much pain I screamed for an hour because the medicine they gave me wasn’t working. Apparently when they gave me the drugs to wake up from the anesthetic they gave me way to much so it not only woke me up, it took all the working pain meds out. I was mad and they could tell. I was yelling and screaming bloody murder. They gave me morphine but instead of injecting it in the IV they put it in my arm muscle and it only works right in that area. It felt like it was forever before the pain got a little better.

It’s a long, difficult and stressful time going through the process of changing hospitals, rooms, dressings, and other things. They had to change my IV everyday because there was such a risk of I don’t know what so I was constantly getting stuck with needles in my arms and hands. Also they stabbed me in the stomach every morning with a syringe they said was a stool softener, yeah right they just love to torture innocent wounded soldiers by stabbing them with whatever they can get their hands on. Oh they also love to wake you up just when you get to sleep so they can take you vitals. Aren’t you supposed to rest and heal in a hospital? I mean I got less sleep after I got hurt than I did in Iraq and they mortared us EVERY night. They’re at least somewhat decent in all the abuse they dished out. I mean they took a break now and then during the day so we could sleep. Not the nurses though; they are slow to get your pain medicine, won’t leave you alone to rest and yell at you when you say “You are nothing but blood sucking leaches that drain every ounce of life from me so I can’t do anything to you, just because you were dropped when you were a baby don’t mean you can take it out on me”. That really pissed them off but I was in a lot of pain and after everything I had been through they could have at least shown some courtesy.

While I was there a wounded soldier was brought into my room. His team was ambushed and they were hit by a RPG. There Hummer was armored but the rocket went through the door and exploded killing 4 and taking a huge chunk of his leg along with it. When he got there the doctors just had had it wrapped with a little gauze it wasn’t bleeding much because there wasn’t much there. The part of leg that was still attached was only hanging on by a tendon or two. He was in a lot of pain and there was nothing I could do. I tried to talk to him but the only thing that came out of my mouth was “I’m so sorry” why did this have to happen? Don’t get me wrong I agree that we should have taken Saddam out of power. But did we really need to send this many troops? All this could’ve easily been solved with a couple of high powered nuclear bombs. Iraq would’ve made a very nice glass farm or maybe a parking lot for a huge Wal-Mart. I don’t disagree with the war it just could have been handled a lot less painfully (for us).


I finally got to call home late that evening after I had some food and kind of woke up. So I called my Dad. Since I had been over there he always had his phone on so if I got a chance to call he would be available. When he answered I told him what happened and then he 3-wayed my mom. He thought it would be better for her to hear it from me instead of a doctor calling that wouldn’t give her any information. When I talked to her she was very upset. I tried to assure her that I was fine and going to be coming home soon because of the injuries. I really didn’t explain them at the time because I didn’t want her to worry anymore than she already was. As you can probably imagine everyone was both happy that I was alive and sad that I had been hurt. No one wants anything to happen to you but in war there are always casualties. This was something I knew long before going over there.
Early the next morning I was put on a C-130 and flown to Kuwait City, Kuwait. When I arrived the Air Force Pilot said they were switching me to a C-5 and then flying me to Germany. The whole switching process took about 10 hours all together. Now this normally wouldn’t be that big of deal because the military is all about waiting so I was definitely used to that. But if you remember, they stripped me of all my clothes, gave me a wool blanket as cover, it was hot and it wasn’t comfortable. I am a dreamer, and out of all the places I dreamed of going none of them included me being butt naked under an itchy blanket and being carried around like some king on a throne. Just in case you were wandering you don’t get this added bonus from Expedia.

The flights were horrible and if you have never ridden in these planes you will now know why people want to jump out of them. First of all when you are Medi-Vac’d (Medically Evacuated) you are put on a special stretcher that (is very uncomfortable) can be hung in the center of the plane. They are stacked side by side, four rows up and depending on the plane about eight rows long. In order to do this you are literally inches from the person above you so it is almost impossible to get out. So you can imagine how hard it is if you need to go to the bathroom. What’s that you said you can’t imagine? Ok I’ll explain it to you. The Nurses have these special boxes (that oddly resemble Chinese take-out boxes) they unfold and become a (very hard to use lying down) bed pan box. Now since the time I got hurt to the time on the plane I had been given an IV and a lot of fluids. If you don’t know in Iraq it is about 130°F and it is a very dry heat so you sweat 95% of all the water you take in and rarely have to visit the bathroom. In the plane however you retain all water because of the cold and as a natural occurrence you have to GO. The second thing is the planes don’t have insulation so you hear everything and it is freezing. If that doesn’t sound bad you just wait.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Clean up on aisle four

When I arrived at the Field hospital I finally was given a pain killer that took away some of the pain. I was the first casualty they had for the day so they got to me right away. First thing they did was take me to get x-rays to see where the shrapnel was in my foot. Also they wanted to see what the damaged looked like on the inside. It wasn’t good even I could tell that! I could tell it was bad when I saw that all the bones had a dark jagged line through them.
Now all this time they had a bandage on my foot but they didn’t have one on my thigh because it wasn’t bleeding much while I was lying down. However to get from the stretcher they brought me in on to the x-ray table I had to stand like a flamingo. When I did that it started flowing again and it was getting everywhere all over the floor and the x-ray table. Now I wasn’t worried about my belongings (or lack there of) but their multi-million dollar machine didn’t seem like it was bought to be a gauze pad. After I received a look like I just busted their laptop I apologized (a lot). Come on guys it wasn’t my fault, blame the dang French terrorist.
Surgery took them a while and the one thing I remembered before the surgery was when they gave me the anesthetic; you know when they ask you to count backwards from 100 to 0. I don’t know about you but I try to compete and have fun with everything I do, and that my friend was a challenge. So before they gave me the anesthetic I asked them “how far do people usually get before they black out” and the Doc said “about 96-94 somewhere around there” so I replied “when I wake up tell me how far I got.” I finally awoke from the procedure at about 10pm and I was hungry because I couldn’t eat anything before the surgery and hadn’t eaten since breakfast. When I asked for the food they sent the Doc in to make sure I was doing ok. The first thing he said was “you are definitely a fighter, you made it all the way to 87 I was shocked. I almost gave you another dose ‘cause I thought it didn’t work.”