22 January, 2007

JR Needs Us

A "little birdie" told me over a week ago that JR Salzman wasn't quite as upbeat as his blog posts had been, but he's finally shared that publicly. He's going through what every seriously wounded warrior deals with, and it's no fun:

Now I’m struggling with the mentality that I’m just a one armed, four fingered gimp. I have sharp memories of the accident that haunt me everyday; the sudden explosion, the taste of blood in my mouth, realizing the bottom half of my arm was missing with nothing left but a couple of fingers and part of my hand hanging off by some skin and tendons, and then realizing how much pain I was in.

...When I think of this [those more seriously wounded] I can't help but feel a little selfish for my own grief. I spend a lot of time crying and I don't know why. Sometimes I look at my hand or I look at my arm and I just start crying. I think of when my hand used to be there, or when my arm used to be there, and what it was like. The arm that was there for the last 27 years is suddenly gone. All the little blemishes, all the little battle wounds, all the little scars from being a carpenter, everything is gone.

...Please remember this when you think about freedom. This isn't a dream, this isn’t some fictional story about patriotism, this isn't some story I'm writing to be a hero. This is my life here at Walter Reed. I am the true cost of freedom. Welcome to my life.

He is right, this is the true cost of freedom. We can't wave a wand and fix it, we can't all give what he has given in time and body. But we must give what we are capable of, whether it's our money, our time, our prayers, or just our love.

He's progressing normally for someone in this situation, but he needs our support. Please, please drop by, tell him you're thinking of and praying for him. Tell him he is loved and appreciated more than words can express, and that we will continue to "be there" for him in whatever way we can. Go now.