Let me start at the beginning though. I'll never forget this day of the deployment. As I've mentioned it had been a rough deployment. I was a co-leader for the FRG with another woman that had become a friend. We were pretty used to receiving the bad calls at this point. This particular morning I woke up and immediately checked out the news headlines (as I normally did, just to have a little heads up of what to expect for the day). I saw a headline of Soldiers killed in Southern Afghanistan, and I instantly had a bad feeling for the day. I started my morning the normal way though: turned on the Disney channel for the kids, fixed some coffee for myself, and prepared breakfast for everyone. 7:38 a.m. my phone rang. I recognized the number and knew bad news was coming.
We were blessed that day that none of our Soldiers had died, however, we weren't in the clear. I answered the phone to speak with Rear Detachment. I had never once thought about the scenario that was about to unfold. They told me the unit had a VSI (very serious injury). He hesitated just a second before telling me it was my co-leader's husband that had been injured. Tears immediately welled in my eyes. He told me that her husband had lost both of his legs among other injuries. I could barely think or speak. I was crying and stumbling for words. My cell phone began to ring. It was my co-leader calling. I told the Rear D that I had to go and would call later if I needed to.
What do you say to someone whose world is crumbling? I remember her saying, "I don't know what to do..." I got her address and headed over. I do not wish the feelings of that day on anyone. It felt so helpless to watch our friend and know that we could not help her. We waited with her for news on her husband. I am sure those first few days were some of the longest of her life. It was a day I will never forget. That was the first time that I stood next to someone in such pain and didn't know what to do or say.
In a way, that day was a lucky day. Her husband survived. He is an amazing fighter. He has surprised everyone with his quick progress. His perseverance and resilience are inspiring. His wife is equally amazing. She has shown unwavering support not only for her husband but for the families of every Wounded Warrior they meet on their journey to recovery. These two are quite the inspiring pair. I am privileged to know them.
So you are probably wondering what this has to do with today, right?
Today, we were able to welcome this family home for the first time since his injury. This is a brief visit, but one that we are all so thankful for. These Wounded Warriors often miss the homecoming ceremonies with their unit. Today we were able to welcome this Soldier and his family home with a true hero's welcome. I cannot think of anyone more deserving.
|The Patriot Guard Riders were there.|
|Ready to welcome home our friends.|
|Welcome Home Verra Family!|
|The Patriot Guard Riders escorted the family to where they were staying.|