Monday, August 27, 2007

Today's Inspiration--Sgt. Matt Lammers

“Everybody keeps calling me a hero,” he says. “I have a hard time hearing that. I was just a soldier doing his job. The heroes are the men and women still over there. … I got to come back. I didn’t die. That’s a blessing.”

“I keep telling people I’m not the story,” he says. “I was just a soldier doing his job. The story is the men who saved my life.”--Sgt. Matt Lammers

The KC Star highlighted a local soldier who was wounded in Iraq and is recovering at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas. The story is very inspirational and I found myself getting choked up several times. Here are some excerpts from the article, Infantryman's Latest Battle:
"Lammers lost both legs and his left arm June 9 when his Humvee hit a buried explosive in Baghdad. Comrades saved his life, and now he’ll lean on other comrades as he begins at least a year of rehabilitation at the Center for the Intrepid, a gleaming, glass-and-metal center that opened this year to treat grievously injured soldiers.

It was Lammers’ act of generosity that put him in that Humvee. Scheduled for a trip home, Lammers switched places to let another soldier go home for his first wedding anniversary.

Lammers and his men were returning to base in Baghdad when the Humvee drove over the explosive.

Lammers probably will spend at least another year here, retraining his muscles and mind. He and his wife recently moved to base housing, where their daughters — Jaelen, 1, and Taena, 5 — will join them next month.

The hope is that Lammers will leave Texas in a year on new legs with a new arm. His doctors think he’s a good candidate for a new type of bionic arm that responds directly to a user’s nervous system.

Peer motivation plays a huge role. Soldiers who lost a leg visit with soldiers who lost two; burn victims meet with burn victims. The idea is that soldiers with grievous wounds benefit from bonding with others facing the same challenges. The message: You’re not alone. You can do this. I can help.

“These guys don’t say to each other, ‘I’m sorry you got hurt,’ or ‘Oh, that’s a tragic injury,’ ” says Mark Heniser, Lammers’ physical therapist. “It’s like a locker room in here. They compete with each other. They tease each other. So we can’t then turn around and tell them there’s something they can’t do.”

A total of 571 service men and women had lost limbs in Iraq and Afghanistan as of April 1, according to Pentagon statistics.

Soldiers who lost limbs in Iraq have gone on to run laps with President Bush, take up snowboarding and run for Congress. Just as importantly, they’ve also gone back to work, held their babies and tied their shoes.

The newest devices give amputees unprecedented control and mobility.

Gary Lammers, principal at Holy Trinity Catholic School in Lenexa, worried like any parent but respected his son’s decision.

Asked now about his son’s service and his attitude, he pauses. His voice thickens.

“I well up with pride,” he says. “And at the same time, I understand that this strength comes from Matt and not me. But I’m so very proud to be his dad.”"
To read the rest of the article, go here!

How to Help:
To contribute to the Sgt. Matt Lammers Medical Fund, send checks made out to the fund to Country Club Bank, 13451 Briar St., Leawood, KS 66209. Contributions made by credit card are accepted by calling 816-751-1470.

UPDATE: To donate to other wounded soldiers, go here!

When you look at men like Sgt. Matt Lammers you can't help but be so thank-ful and so proud of our men and women in the military. There are always some bad apples in the bunch but I think most are like Lammers and deserve our gratitude and support.

Those like John Murtha who would disgrace our soldiers without having all the evidence and without giving them the benefit of the doubt are traitors of the worst kind. Robin has been on top of the story on how the Haditha Marines are being cleared one by one of the crimes that Murtha unfairly accused them of. He owes those men and their families an apology and he owes the Country the decency of resigning.

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