August 28, 2009

SEE YOU OUT THERE (via Glenn Dryfoos):

Soldiering On: The Troops First Foundation gives America's injured vets a chance to reclaim their dignity (David Feherty, 8/26/09, , GOLF Magazine)

Earlier that week, Hunter, Rod Pampling, Jason Gore, Pat Perez, Kelly Tilghman and Tom Watson played with thirty or so seriously injured servicemen and women (most of them amputees) in my 2nd Annual Improvised Explosive Day of Golf at the Chevy Chase Club. This year I had another amazing group of warriors, from Rob Brown — a below-the-knee amputee who may represent the U.S. in both the regular Olympics in kayak and Para-Olympics in track and field — to 22-year-old PFC Brendan Marrocco of the 25th Infantry, who on Easter Sunday in Tikrit was robbed of all four limbs plus his left eye.

It takes a while to figure out how to react to the severely injured members of our armed forces, but after almost three years of being around them, I think I have it figured out. This year's IED of Golf was the first time I'd met Brendan, with whom it is impossible to shake hands, play footsie, chest bump or, for that matter, pull his finger. A stump-to-knuckles thing had to suffice, and after that I embarked on what is now my normal procedure for getting to know a new member of my F-troop, who was being driven around in a cart by his brother Mike. It went something like this:

Me: "You know, you're not as tall as I thought you'd be."

Brendan: "I used to be taller."

"Yes, I can imagine. So, what would you like to do today?"

"I'd like to kick your [butt]."

"Well, that seems unlikely. Obviously you can't walk, but you look like you'd bounce pretty well. Are you going to be okay in that cart without a seat belt?

"Yeah, I can hold on with my butt cheeks."

"Excellent! Well, clench on, brother — I'll see you out there."

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 28, 2009 7:59 AM
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