Monday, January 18, 2010

Freedom From Fear, Courtesy of Marissa Strock

This week's adventures in slogging began today at 4:30 a.m. The only thing I considered that might explode under my feet was a measure of energy and determination. I gave no thought to dodging land mines or improvised explosive devices (IEDs) hidden along the path. I, and we, as citizens of the United States, are unrestrained as we meander about our communities, free from the daily fear of being maimed by exploding shrapnel. Yet, in a sad and ironic twist, though our soldiers fight to protect us from such horrors, many are called to duty and sacrifice in the face of those very same circumstances. Newsweek reported in August of 2007 that 50 soldiers a month were being killed or injured by IEDs.

So it was with Marissa Strock, whose unit had been assigned to locate a mass grave in Iraq. Her profile on the Wounded Warrior Project website explains, "As the unit traveled a dangerous stretch of road, insurgents triggered an IED right under Marissa’s vehicle. Three of the five people on board died, leaving Marissa and the interpreter as the only survivors. Marissa remembers screaming, but little else." Ultimately, Marissa lost both legs as a result of the attack. Her story of survival and courage is an incredible one. Read it here.

For you, Marissa, though no one could ever fill your shoes, I imagined borrowing them for a little while this morning. Thank you for your sacrifices ... and my freedoms.

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Readers: Don't forget to comment here, listing the name of your Wounded Warrior, along with a positive note about how this person has influenced you.

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