30 December, 2006

Bringing Doc Home: Arlington

This is a follow-up on an earlier article by Jim Sheeler and my post Bringing Doc Home.

What "Doc" left behind...

"While we were in the Humvee, I could feel myself slipping away, wanting to go to sleep, and Doc started yelling at me," Edwards said. "I was ready to enter whatever afterlife there is, and he kept yelling at me, telling me it was going to be OK."

[Doc]Anderson later would tell his friends and parents that it was the most terrifying day of his life - that he constantly second-guessed himself, wondering if he had done everything he could have and should have. He told his closest friends that he had lost the sergeant's pulse three times on the way to the clinic but that each time he had managed to bring him back.

The Sergeant...
"I lost my legs not for this country, but for the country of Iraq, so their children will be able to run around, just like mine," he said as he watched his daughters, ages 3 and 5, playing on the hospital grounds. "If time was turned back, I'd do it all over again."

What Doc meant to "his Marines..."
Now, Edwards said, he plans to send his Purple Heart to the Anderson family.

"It's the only way I can say thank you," he said. "I can't put it into words, what a corpsman means to his Marines."

I've said it many times, but it's true: people like this live on in those they've left behind. Their examples, their actions, their character... all live on in those who knew them and were changed by the knowing.

It's a "tissue alert," but read it all. These--the families, the wounded, the fallen and the fighters--are our military today.

Update: The hometown response, and pictures from the first article and from Arlington.