I received a discouraging phone call late on a recent Friday night. The message from my father conveyed that my cousin Matt, a Marine serving in Afghanistan, had been shot. The initial news was grim.
While out on patrol Matt had been shot in the chest and was in critical condition at a field hospital. The information relayed to the family from the military had been brief. The details were sketchy and honestly we weren't sure how to proceed or what to prepare for.
24 hours after receiving the initial phone call, I received an email with more details. Matt had actually been shot in the arm twice (and not in the chest) while in the Marine camp (and not on patrol). In addition, one of the bullets had gone through his arm and collapsed a lung.
Knowing Matt, I’m sure he would say “luckily the damage is repairable”. He was able to be moved to Germany and then on to the Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, D.C.
Thankfully, he is expected to make a full recovery and just received his 2nd Purple Heart award. Matt survived the conflict that day, but three of his fellow soldiers lost their lives.
As we celebrate Memorial Day, I want to send a heartfelt “Thank You” to Matt and to all of those that serve in the military. In addition, I hope you will join me this weekend and throughout the year in doing something special for the men and women, and their families, that serve us in the military. Buy them a meal. Thank them for their service. Give them a gift card. Whatever you can do to let them know how much they are appreciated...
Have a great Memorial Day weekend!