There has been a lot of talk about the military getting the short end of the stick lately. I thought it would be nice to provide a good story for a change.
This is the story of a local soldier. I realize that it does not appear to be an uplifting story but I promise the ending is better than the beginning. Credit for below story to Homes For Our Troops website.
Cpl Joshua Hoffman
January 6th, 2007 Cpl Joshua Hoffman was on patrol in the streets of Fallujah, Iraq when a man with a rocket propelled grenade appeared in his line of sight. The insurgent ran off, forcing Josh's group of Marines to follow and capture him. It was a standard, by the book procedure that they followed effortlessly. Josh was assigned to lead the group of men on foot. One shot rang-out, the men yelled "take cover!", and everyone dove to the ground. His men got up to make sure everyone was okay - but one man did not. Josh lay face-down in the filthy Iraq soil, unable to move, until his Navy Corpsmen came to his aid. His men frantically did everything they could to keep everyone safe while trying to save his life, and it worked. Every other person that day walked out of there untouched, but emotionally distraught over the happenings of that day.
Josh has spent the last 20 months away from his home, his friends, and his family. Fourteen of those months have been spent inside the four walls of his hospital room, 800 miles away from home. Fourteen months he lay in the same bed, staring at the same ceiling, praying to wake up and be back in Iraq, having all this be a bad nightmare. Fourteen months straight he has awakened to the crude reality of what has happened to him, to his body, to his life, and yet he is more optimistic than 95% of the other men here who have so much more use of their bodies. He tells me he's lucky - lucky to be alive, and lucky it's not worse. A man who had everything, a life many dream of, and now can hardly speak, barely see, and cannot move even a finger to itch his nose. Yet, he still says he is lucky.
Josh has had pneumonia 5 times, a urinary tract infection more than 10 times, fears of meningitis, complete kidney failure resulting in his body ballooning to 3 times his normal body size (his eyes were swollen shut, his bottom lip so big it touched his nose, and blisters that covered his entire body), and currently deals with multiple kidney stones too large to pass. He was dependent on a ventilator to breathe for him for 6 months, and still relies on a tracheotomy and oxygen. He fights everyday to relearn his speech, regain abilities to move, and hope that maybe soon he'll be able to return home. It's been a long road to recovery, but he's fighting on and he will indeed make it. After all, he is a US Marine!
Please help Homes for Our Troops build this young Marine the home he needs to aid in his recovery. He has fought for us now it is our turn to fight for him.
I got an e-mail this week containing an invitation to a Key Turnover Ceremony to a new house for Cpl Hoffman that is adapted to his needs.
I would like to send my respect to Cpl Hoffman for all he has done for our country. My sadness at all he has suffered through. My admiration for him being such a positive person in all of the adversity he has faced.
Finally I would like to salute this fine organization for the work they have done for Cpl Hoffman and all of the other troops they have assisted. I have put them on my resources (links) listing. It seems to pale in comparison to what they do but if it brings them any support at all, it is more than worth the time. Any of you that have a similar listing on your site, I ask that you do the same. Let's spread the word for them.