It was a rare privilege to meet several of our wounded heroes who will be receiving homes and hear their incredible stories. I was totally mesmerized by what they had to say. Seeing their families and loved ones was so touching. One never imagines just how great the sacrifices are that these young men and women are making to preserve peace and democracy in the world. No matter how severe their injuries are, they are ready to serve again. Though having been previously wounded, Sergeant Marty Gonzalez told his parents a white lie that he was called up again and signed on for yet another tour. He has had 9+ surgeries to fix a second set of injuries. That was the commitment that I witnessed last evening.
Then, the very poignant Sergeant Rick Yarosh who was burned over 70% of his body told us how he had wanted to die and didn’t think he could face the world. It was his two friends, who he called angels who had lost their lives, that came back and talked to him giving him the courage to move forward. Would you believe this hero, Rick Yarosh has had over 110 surgeries.
Their stories are miracles where these heroes have battled-back from near fatal injuries and endure so much on their road to recovery. SPC Jack Zimmerman, who used to play football, basketball, hunt, train dogs, joined the military because it was something he always wanted to do. It was part of his family’s tradition. He stepped on an IED in
and lost both of his legs. He is a bilateral above the amputee. To meet he and his wife Megan you’d never imagine what he has gone through and how he looks forward to resuming a normal life. His best pal, SGT Jack Williams is another example of someone who has suffered horrific injuries being the first to step on an IED and not one of the other soldier under his leadership. I smile when he says, “I can do almost anything on my own, except shower.” Think about it the next time you take a shower. Afghanistan
Another fantastic couple, SGT Brian Mast and his wife Brianna, who have a seventeen month old son and are expecting their second child in April, is a bilateral above the knee amputee but you would never know it by talking to him. He will be getting a home in West Palm Beach where he remember fun times with his family and looks forward to a bright future
These are the moments in our lives that make us appreciate what is really important and the homes they will be receiving will mean so much.
Have a great day and stay patriotic!