Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Semper Fi - Amputee Marine Returns to Combat

Any time you doubt the true spirit of our Beloved Republic, think about U.S. Marine Corporal Garrett Jones an amputee marine who returned to combat in Afghanistan because he couldn't bear the thought of his unit deploying without him.

Corporal Jones lost his leg to a roadside bomb in Iraq a little over a year ago.
Previously, Jones would have gotten a medical discharge and gone back to civilian life. But because of advances in medical care and high-tech prostheses he was able to get his wish and return to his unit, where he's serving a combat tour in Afghanistan.

Jones said he couldn't bear the thought of not deploying with close friends in his unit after he learned last fall that they would be sent to Afghanistan. He also wanted to pave a path for other amputees and show them what's possible, he said.

"I want to be someone an injured Marine can talk to," Jones said. "And I can tell them: 'Times will be rough and not always easy as an amputee, but you can still make great things out of an unfortunate situation.' That's what I want to do."

Sgt. Matthew Leonard, who served with Jones in Iraq and now works beside him at this desert base in southern Afghanistan, said Jones has earned a special status among Marines because he demanded to be sent back to combat.

"He didn't just choose to come -- he fought to come," Leonard said. "We bled and sweated with this guy in Iraq, and he wants to be with us more than anything. That's awesome."

Jones said he had to pass medical tests and prove in training that he could walk effectively, get in and out of a Humvee and perform other physical tasks. Once, while in a simulator that mimics a Humvee rolling over, his prosthesis popped off, he said. He reattached it and continued the drill.

Jones didn't get his first prosthesis until November. By the end of December, he had learned how to snowboard again, a sport he had enjoyed for years. He plans to compete in freestyle snowboarding in the 2010 Paralympics in Vancouver, Canada.

"I can do stuff on a snowboard I don't think any other amputee can do," he said. He would compete to win, which would create "good publicity for the Marine Corps," he said.

It's the simple, unassuming heroism of men like Corporal Jones that is the essence of patriotism. And they do it not for medals or money, nor for any great ideological Crystal Vision Of A Future Better America. They do it just to keep the same old country they left behind going strong, just as it is...and they do it for us, out of loyalty and love. As long as America can continue to produce men like him, we will stay strong and free.

Semper Fi, Corporal Jones. We love you back.


Anonymous said...

allow myself to disagree with ff.
based on ff essay, i do not have any doubt about cpl. garrett jones commitment and/or courage.
i do have doubt about our beloved republic.
the reason: it does not make any difference the type of men our society produces, if our collective leadership has it collective head stuck up its' collective anal passage.
if cpl. jones truly has what it takes, when he finishes his tour with his buddies, he will square things away in either the house or senate chambers. let him walk into that vipers nest.
that, imo, is what cpl. jones can do if he truly has the commitment to something bigger than himself.
and i will continue to doubt my beloved republic as long as a marxist/leninist pig has the ratings in the presidential polls that he does.

Freedom Fighter said...

Hi Louie,
A couple of things.

First of all, in a democracy you absolutely have to have a certain amount of trust in your fellow citizens, or you shouldn't live in one.

I trust the majority of the American people to do the right thing on the bigger issues. Yeah. occasionally some pissant may fool the electorate for awhile, but it never lasts. Look, for instance, at what's happening to Barack Hussein Obama's poll numbers lately, and even to some of his press coverage.

Remember , it wasn't the voters who handed Barack Obama the nomination, it was the superdelegates, and they had a definite reason for doing so.I'll have more on this later.

Second, not everybody in Congress or in Washington is a fool or a viper.Many of them ( not all of them, obviously) are dedicated public servants who actually care about the country and could have an easier life or make a lot more money out of public office. Oddly enough, I put both Dick Cheney and Ted Kennedy in that category.

Third, Corporal Jones and those like him will do their part to clean out what you refer to as the viper's nest.Look up the background of a number of COngressman and women and see how many of them are vets.

Take care and have some optimism, Louie. I wouldn't sell America short just yet.