Sunday, July 31, 2005

Former MSU students nursing wounds from Iraq

Former MSU students nursing wounds from Iraq
7/31/2005 1:09:19 AM
Daily Journal

STARKVILLE - William Brooks was steering his Humvee along a gritty, sand-blown stretch of roadway 15 miles south of Baghdad, Iraq when the Army vehicle suddenly triggered a hidden explosive device

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Friday, July 29, 2005

The Long Road Home

Fisher House's Doonesbury Donation pamphlet

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Unseen Wounded blog

Unseen Wounded blog

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Walter Reed Hospital and Amputee Clinic Slated For Realignment

Walter Reed Hospital and Amputee Clinic Slated For Realignment
DOD proposes a move by 2011
by Kim Fernandez

Walter Reed Army Medical Center, which has recently become well known for its world-class amputee clinic, was recommended for realignment as part of the 2005 Department of Defense Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) report, released May 13.

Under the proposal, Walter Reed will move from its current Washington, D.C., campus to two new facilities: a 300-bed location at the National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, Md., and a 165-bed facility at Fort Belvoir, Va.

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'Over There' Brings War Home

'Over There' brings war home
By Chuck Barney

The midday sun beats down relentlessly on the bristled hills and dusty gulches just outside the Southern California city of Chatsworth. It's an austere, hardscrabble patch of earth that likely would draw scant attention if not for the fact that a film crew has gathered here to make some television history.

"It's one thing to be out here in shorts and sandals, but it's something entirely different to be in full military gear, and lugging around a heavy weapon, and have the sweat dripping into your eyes," says Omid Abtahi, an actor who plays a young U.S. soldier in the powerful new war drama "Over There." "But you don't gripe about it because we have a responsibility to make it as real as possible."

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Mtv's True Life shows amputee soldiers back from Iraq

From MTV's Website:

I'm Home from Iraq
Nearly every day, they come home. But after fighting a brutal war in a hostile land, thousands of young American veterans are finding out just how difficult it is to put that experience behind them. On this episode of True Life, we'll meet three servicemen who are hoping to move on with their lives after spending months in battle on the ground in Iraq.

Charles is home after serving two intense tours of duty -- but now may be forced to go back for a third. His family is worried that he's suffered emotional trauma from combat. Can Charles adjust to life in the States or will the threat of returning to the war be too much for him to handle?

Bryan is hoping to reestablish his relationship with his girlfriend after they spent so much time apart while he was overseas. But Brian may have to go back and fight as well. Will they be torn apart yet again by another deployment to Iraq?

Joey is lucky to be alive after losing two legs and an arm when his tank encountered a land mine. After enduring dozens of surgeries, he is still perserving, even though he now faces over a year of intense and painful rehabilitation. Will Joey be able to learn to walk with only one functioning limb?

Their lives have been changed forever by their experiences at war -- but now they're expected to get back to normal. Is that really possible?

Check out this special episode of True Life premiering at 10pm on Thursday, June 30.

Find support through the National Military Family Association.
Find resources through the Iraq War Veterans Organization.
Get help through the National Center for PTSD, Department of Veterans Affairs.
Visit the True Life Homepage
If you or someone you care about is in emotional distress, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), 24 hours, 7 days a week. With help comes hope.

Watch the show online>>

Amputees turn to Boulder firm for prostheses

Therapeutic Recreation Systems is increasingly supplying the military with devices for troops injured in the Middle East.
By Kimberly S. Johnson
Denver Post Staff Writer

Twenty-nine percent of amputations endured by Army and Marine personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan involve arms and hands, and a small Boulder company is helping to ease the recovery process.

Therapeutic Recreation Systems Inc. designs and manufactures 50 different types of body-powered prosthetic devices for infants, children and adults. TRS also specializes in prostheses that enable individuals to pursue a variety of recreational activities, such as basketball, baseball, archery and skiing.

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Military medical center to serve severely wounded

Military medical center to serve severely wounded
By Guy Taylor
The Washington Times
Published July 29, 2005

WASHINGTON -- An army captain who lost a leg in Iraq was among several amputees on Capitol Hill yesterday for the announcement of plans for a state-of-the-art rehabilitation center for severely wounded soldiers.

"Generations of the future will be able to get the best amputee care in the world," said Capt. Lonnie Moore, 30, praising the public-private partnership that is funding the Center for the Intrepid, which will be built at the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio.

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Army Capt. Anthony Odierno
Army Staff Sgt. Justin Shellhammer
Capt. Lonnie Moore

New Military Hospital to be Built in San Antonio

New Military Hospital to be Built in SA
LAST UPDATE: 7/28/2005 9:25:42 PM
Posted By: Jim Forsyth
This story is available on your cell phone at

(SAN ANTONIO) -- The National Armed Forces Physical Rehabilitation Center, a 60,000 square foot facility dedicated to the treatment of America's wounded warriors, will be built on the grounds of Brooke Army Medical Center, three U.S. Senators announced today.

The new facility, which will be built on the site of the running track across the parking lot from the existing Brooke Army Medical Center building, will add to the resources currently available at BAMC's Amputee Care Center, which opened earlier this year, according to 1200 WOAI news.

"State of the art equipment designed to strengthen the limbs of our amputees and help them progress in their recovery," is now BAMC's Nelia Shrum described the planned facility.

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Walter Reed to Close Down???

Walter Reed, Hospital for Presidents and Grunts, May Fade Away
July 28 (Bloomberg) -- Mike Lewis spent his childhood tossing footballs and playing hide-and-seek on the grounds of Walter Reed Army Medical Center, where his father worked.

Thirty years later, Lewis serves food to patients at the hospital in northwest Washington, D.C. Now he's wondering how long his job, and the 96-year-old institution itself, will last.

Walter Reed, the flagship military hospital for presidents, dignitaries and wounded soldiers from World War I through the war in Iraq, is on the U.S. Defense Department's hit list for possible closing.

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Monday, July 25, 2005

Man's idea born in pain promises respite

Man's idea born in pain promises respite
Monday, July 25, 2005
The Express-Times
Donald Calhoun suffered more than emotional pain when he lost his right leg.

The compression stocking that held his prosthesis on his thigh was uncomfortable at best and excruciating at worst.

Immediately after he started wearing the stocking he thought about making a more comfortable alternative. More than five years later, he is on the verge of marketing the brainchild of his pain: the Prosthetics Sock.

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Henderson makes it 'There'

Henderson makes it 'There'
By William Keck, USA TODAY
LOS FELIZ, Calif. — Who's hot: Josh Henderson
Why now: He plays the sympathetic soldier who loses a leg in the FX war drama Over There (premieres Wednesday, 10 p.m. ET/PT).

The buzz: America loves its veterans, but will the public embrace a show about a controversial war that is still being fought?

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Sunday, July 24, 2005

Invisible Cost of War

McDaniel: The invisible costs of war
By Donna McDaniel
Friday, July 22, 2005

This column is about the costs of the Iraqi war-or any war-to peoples' lives, the costs we don't hear much about. Our attention goes, naturally, to the men and women who have died. Our hearts hurt for their kids, the grieving wives and husbands, moms and dads, sisters and brothers. We wonder how people can bear it-how we would bear it.

But this column is about those who we don't hear about-the wounded, physically and emotionally. I happened upon a program (CSpan?) of interviews with the patients at Walter Reed Hospital, lengthy and in-depth conversations both heart-breaking and inspiring. The people that I learned about there, and the thousands like them, have been on my mind ever since.

One fact says a lot about the wounds in Iraq. Rather than bullet wounds (bad enough), the damage to the soldiers is now from bombs-the horrendous blasts of roadside explosions or grenade launchers. Bombs mean the chances of surviving are smaller and those who do live are likely to lose a limb or two or more or, like an interviewee on another program, part of their face or chest.

There are maybe about 11,000 wounded, from one source. Another report has at least 24,000 service men and women being med-evac'ed so far.

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Saturday, July 23, 2005

Hundreds gather for funeral of soldier wounded in Iraq

Hundreds gather for funeral of soldier wounded in Iraq
Associated Press

SPRINGDALE, Ohio - If Army Pfc. Tim Hines Jr. could have held on for another few weeks, he would have been able see his second child.

The 21-year-old from Fairfield died last week at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington after battling injuries he received in a bomb explosion in Baghdad for almost a month.

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Thursday, July 21, 2005

PARALYMPICS; Competition Offers Its Healing Powers To War's Wounded

PARALYMPICS; Competition Offers Its Healing Powers To War's Wounded

By LYNN ZINSER (NYT) 1691 words
Late Edition - Final , Section D , Page 1 , Column 1

DISPLAYING FIRST 50 OF 1691 WORDS - When John Register walked in front of a group of injured soldiers at Brooke Army Medical Center, he wore a big, easy smile and spoke from his heart. His space-age left leg extended from a pair of khaki shorts, and he had the soldiers' attention even before he told them...


The full article must be purchased from NYT OR visit your local pubilc library to obtain a free copy.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

‘Never quit’: Bomb scars fuel F’ville soldier’s determination to return to Iraq

Brian Doyne, a 1997 graduate of Fayette County High School, freely admits he knew the risk of his job with the U.S. Army as an explosive ordinance disposal specialist.

He could have been killed, or severely maimed.

“Even if we do our job right, we could still come home in a body bag, or come home maimed like I did,” Doyne said.

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Sunday, July 17, 2005

Project helps veterans deal with losses

Project helps veterans deal with losses
Associated Press

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Missing two legs he lost in the Iraq war, Heath Calhoun is nearing the end of a 4,200-mile cross-county journey by hand-propelled bicycle. His goal: to remind Americans the war is not over and that wounded soldiers are returning home with their lives changed forever.

"More than anything, we just want people to know that their troops are coming back and they need your support, whether you support the war or not," Calhoun said as he and a band of fellow Iraq veterans arrived in Annapolis Monday.

The former soldiers are raising money for the Wounded Warrior Project, a private organization that provides services to help those who were seriously wounded in the war.

"Money is desperately needed," Calhoun said, adding that the group helped him "when just getting out of bed seemed impossible."

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Friday, July 15, 2005

Marines' sacrifices recognized

Marines' sacrifices recognized
Web Posted: 07/15/2005 12:00 AM CDT
Scott Huddleston
Express-News Staff Writer

Nary a day passes, not even a minute, when he doesn't think about them.

Marine Sgt. Randy Watkins was with Lance Graham and Aaron Cepeda, two other San Antonio Marines, when a suicide bomber attacked their platoon May 7 in Anbar Province.

Graham and Cepeda didn't survive. Watkins did, and wants to return to Iraq once he recovers from a gunshot wound to the shoulder and nerve damage.

"I want to go back so badly, I'm losing my mind being around here," said Watkins, 24, of San Antonio.

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Thursday, July 14, 2005

Amputee pedals for wounded veterans

Amputee pedals for wounded veterans
Palmer Twp. vet to stop at ballgame.
Thursday, July 14, 2005
From staff reports
Palmer Township resident Daniel Lasko is pedaling across the country to focus attention on wounded troops returning from Afghanistan and Iraq -- including himself.

His tour includes a stop at tonight's Philadelphia Phillies game.

Phillies spokeswoman Deb Rinaldi said Lasko will be recognized prior to the 6:30 p.m. Phillies-Marlins baseball game at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia as one of five amputees who have returned from the war zones in Afghanistan and Iraq and continue to serve their country.

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Monday, July 11, 2005

light posting

I will update this blog less frequently in the next few weeks. Please bookmark the site or add it to your RSS reader.

Thank you for reading.

Wounded Vets Savor Joys of Life

Wounded vets savor joys of life

One of them was the first Marine wounded in the Iraq war, losing a leg to a land mine near Basra.
Another had his right leg blown off by a rocket-propelled grenade in Tikrit.

Another lost both legs and an arm, and here he was, water-skiing through the big blue eye of Jamaica Bay on a sunny July afternoon in America.

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Friday, July 08, 2005

Military Families Enjoy Comfort of Homes While Wounded Soldiers Recover

Military Families Enjoy Comfort of Homes While Wounded Soldiers Recover
By Janet Nester - When Tracy Shellhammer's husband called in April to say he had lost part of his left leg during combat in Afghanistan, she didn't believe him. He was always playing practical jokes, and a nurse had to get on the line to convince her.

Washington, D.C. - Scripps Howard Foundation Wire - infoZine - After being moved to several hospitals, Staff Sgt. Justin Shellhammer, 26, ended up here, at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, a premier military hospital known for its quality treatment of amputees. Shellhammer, serving with the 164th Military Police Company, had stepped on a land mine.

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Thursday, July 07, 2005

Sergeant fights to return to combat duty

Sergeant fights to return to combat duty
Thursday, July 07, 2005

By Greg Jaffe, The Wall Street Journal

FORT BRAGG, N.C. -- Staff Sgt. Andy McCaffrey, a 33-year-old Green Beret, steadied his pistol and let loose a blast of fire. When the gun was empty, he wedged it between his knees, popped in a new ammunition clip and fired again.

He thought his accuracy that April day at the practice range was pretty good. But the next morning, his superior, Sgt. Maj. Charlie Blake, was critical.

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Andy McCaffrey

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Soldier's Family Seeks Help

Soldier's Family Seeks Help
Reported by: Jay Warren
Web produced by: Neil Relyea
Photographed by: 9News
7/6/2005 7:51:31 PM
A Fairfield soldier's family is asking for your prayers and for your help after he was wounded severely in an explosion in Iraq.

They've rushed to a military hospital to be with their son and husband, Army Private Tim Hines. Private First Class Hines is in grave condition at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in the Washington, D.C. area.

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Tuesday, July 05, 2005

100.000 Wounded?

"The ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are only adding to that burden. An estimated 103,000 U.S. soldiers returning from those countries needed care through the VA this year -- more than four times the number the VA had estimated."

[Source: Veterens Find Support in Atheletes]