Healing, Lessons, and Ever-present Challenge
–By Eva Flanagan
I feel compelled to share some thoughts with those who care about Greg, on my time spent recently in San Antonio. I donʼt see how anyone can visit the Brooke Army Medical Center complex and not be moved. For most of us our day to day reality does not involve physical pain, a struggle to complete basic tasks of daily living (eating, using the bathroom, moving about our homes to put things away, etc,). Most of us donʼt worry about heading out to the store or a restaurant, wondering if they have space for a wheelchair, or worrying about people staring at us because of the way we look. While at BAMC I continue to be struck by the large number of (mostly) young guys who are missing limbs, or are severely burned and disﬁgured. Wounded in the line of duty, while sacriﬁcing their own safety for our freedom, I have an enormous amount of respect for them. My heart goes out to them for the challenges they do and will continue to face. Yet, I ask myself, why do they need to continue to be put in harms way? When will our leaders decide there’s been enough loss of life and limb, and bring our troops home…..
Heading down to San Antonio on July 31st, with Pat and our boys, Kyle, Ryan, and Tommy we were ﬁlled with eager anticipation to see Greg. I last left him on June 18th. At that time he was still in the ICU, in excruciating pain, unable to get out of bed, his wounds still very raw. Visiting Greg in those early days after his attack I had been shocked. Despite working for several years as a nurse, never before had I seen such massive trauma to a human body. How could this have happened, I wondered? How is it possible to heal from such extreme injuries? Fortunately I was able to gain hope from both Gregʼs own determined attitude to stay strong, and by seeing other wounded warriors in further stages of healing, and walking on prosthetic limbs about the facilities. I didnʼt want to leave Greg that day in June and wanted so badly to stay and help with his nursing care, sit and hold his hand, anything to ease his burden. Read more