Marine Cpl. Jacob Schick gave his all in Iraq.
Marine Cpl. Jacob Schick gave his all in Iraq. But when the Gretna man came home -- minus a leg and with his arm in shreds -- he found a veterans' health-care system that didn't return that commitment
Sunday, September 09, 2007
By Bill Walsh
The bomb that tore through the floor of his Humvee in the fall of 2004 shredded his legs and left arm. Forty-six surgeries later, Schick is an amputee still learning to cope with physical limitations that as a star high school athlete he never dreamed he would face.
Perhaps just as daunting has been learning to navigate the veterans' health care system, which he says demeans the sacrifice of all veterans.
"When you have to deal with the VA (Veterans Affairs) or TRICARE (the federal health insurance program), you feel beaten down," Schick said. "You are a number, and you feel like a number. It's a total, total beat-down."
Schick, 25, who grew up in Texas and Louisiana and now lives in Gretna, is one of the 10 injured veterans featured in an HBO film, "Alive Day Memories: Home from Iraq," that airs tonight. The title of the documentary, produced by "Sopranos" star James Gandolfini, refers to the date that the injured narrowly escape death and realize that they are still alive.