The American Forces Press Service has recently come up with a four part series of articles called the Wounded Warrior Diaries. Written by Navy Lt. Jennifer Cragg, the articles explore the lives of four different people in the military and how being wounded in action has changed their life.
Although they deal with sad issues and incidents, these are stories of brave and committed people who are dedicated to their country and are proud to have served. Some have even continued service in the military. Now I don’t know about you, but in my eyes that’s dedication.
Marine Staff Sgt. Daniel Kachmar
Daniel Kachmar joined the Marines for the challenge. The other benefits are nice, but he’s a man who like to push himself to the limits. While sweeping for mines in Iraq, Kachmar was seriously injured when one exploded, knocking him unconscious. He didn’t let that stop him from staying in the Marines, though, helping out any way he could. This is what makes him a hero, a Wounded Warrior.
Marine Staff Sgt. Daniel Kachmar returned to active duty after being seriously wounded in Iraq in August 2005.
Army Sgt. Chris Alvin Burrell
Despite losing a leg, Chris Burrell wants to recuperate and reenlist in the military. His courage and dedication is just one small piece of the puzzle that is America, but it’s an important piece. Injured by a roadside explosion while working on a convoy, Burrell remembers little about the horrific event. He remembers waking up, though, not knowing exactly what had happened. Despite all he went through, he wants to continue serving his county, making him a hero, a Wounded Warrior.
Army Sgt. Chris Burrell is focused on his rehabilitation since losing a leg in an explosion in Baghdad’s Sadr City neighborhood on Dec. 26, 2007. He hopes to return to his job as a canine handler.
Navy Lt. John Pucillo
John Pucillo knew after high school that a life in the navy as an ordinance disposal expert wouldn’t be the safest career choice. He wanted to serve his country, though, and he did, in a big way. His Alive Day (as they call it in VA hospitals – the day you remained alive, not the day you were injured, it’s all how you look at it sometimes…) – his day came when he split his people into three groups instead of two to lessen damages from any attack. It turns out he took the brunt of the damage that day. He’s a hero, though, a true Wounded Warrior.
Navy Lt. John Pucillo displays a tatoo on the remainder of his left leg, which was amputated following a bomb blast in Iraq in May 2006.
U.S. Army Spc. Susan Downes
After her husband was injured and had to leave the Army, Susan Downes decided to turn from a “Girly Girl” to a battle ready US Soldier. She enlisted and after training was sent to Afghanistan for one year. It was there that she was injured on a bitter winter day when a roadside bomb exploded, tearing the Humvee she was riding in to bits. She was in the lead Humvee. She hasn’t let the experience get her down too much, though, making her a hero, even if she doesn’t like the title. She’s another Wounded Warrior.
Army Spc. Susan Downes holds an Afghan girl during her tour there in 2006. Downes was seriously wounded there in November 2006 when the convoy she was riding in ran over a bomb.
Read Full Story: Wounded Warrior Diaries: Army Wife Enlists, Escapes Death on Afghan Mountain
These are only some of the stories out there, four short examples of the kind of men and women that make America what it is. If these stories seem of interest to you, I urge you to read more and find out how you can help veterans in your local community.
I’d like to take a moment to salute these brave human beings who have gone above and beyond the call of duty for their country. If this country had more like them, we’d be a lot more safer tonight. I’ll tell you that. Hand still smartly saluting, this is Sgt. Stryker signing out.