Saturday :: Nov 20, 2004

To The Last Drop Of YOUR Blood

by pessimist

Isn't it bad enough we've taken our military reserve and made them our front line troops?

Isn't it bad enough we've extended their tours each time they get close to going home?

Isn't it bad enough we've denied them the right to leave military service once their time is up?

Isn't it bad enough that we've shanghaied those who have more than completed their military service?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you haven't been paying attention.

Here's why the answer is NO!

Military Amputees to Get New Rehab Center

A state-of-the-art rehabilitation center opening next year at Walter Reed Army Medical Center seeks to return more amputee soldiers to a place once thought impossible: the battlefield.

When is enough enough? Read the post title.

In their infinite generosity, Owwer Leedur's Pentagon spares no expense:

Besides treadmills and stationary bikes, the $10 million Military Amputee Training Center will have weapons simulators, a climbing and rappelling wall, and military vehicle simulators to help soldiers adapt their prosthetics to driving tanks and trucks.

"Our guys and gals, they don't want to just walk household distances, they want to be able to return to running, they want to be able to return to duty," Lt. Col. Jeff Gambel, clinical chief of the amputee clinic, said Friday at a groundbreaking ceremony. "And if they don't return to duty, they want to be able to rock climb and do all those other things.'"

Has anyone yet asked those whose limbs didn't come home with them?

One of those amputees is Marine Corp. Peter Bagarella. On foot patrol this summer with his unit in western Iraq, the 21-year-old from Cape Cod, Mass., stopped to examine a suspicious object. "The next thing I know, my eyes turned white and my ears were ringing," he said. "My left foot fell off, it was just gone, and I went blind because shrapnel got in my eyes." Bagarella had his left leg amputated below the knee, suffered hundreds of tiny shrapnel wounds in his right leg and left knee, and has impaired vision.

Walking carefully with his new prosthetic and a cane, he said the new center gives survivors hope they can lead the kind of lives they had before getting injured. "It will give them motivation and show them that even if you have an amputated leg, you can do just as much as if you had a leg," Bagarella said.

"This center is saying we recognize your sacrifice, we recognize your importance, we're not abandoning you,''said Lt. Col. Paul Pasquina, medical director of Walter Reed's amputee program.

Bagarella does not plan to return to active duty, but at least 10 amputees treated at Walter Reed have returned or are planning to return to their units, hospital officials said.

And how many chose to NOT play war anymore?

Somehow, I'd bet it's a whole lot more than 10.

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pessimist :: 2:42 PM :: Comments (8) :: Digg It!