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Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Few. The Proud. Me?

From the department of they said I'd never do it...

After receiving a brochure in the mail yesterday from the U.S. Marines Corps, I figured what the hell and headed for a local recruitment office this afternoon, nurse in tow.

Though the office was not wheelchair accessible, a staff sergeant was kind enough to come outside and chat with me. Turns out that I won't be a marine anytime soon, as you can't be older than 28 to enlist. Well, that and the fact that there's no way I'd ever pass the required physical examination!

As I was talking to the sergeant, who had been wounded in combat in Iraq, an officer fully clad in marine attire walked outside. My nurse pointed at me and joked, "He's going to sign up!"

My face turned a shade of crimson.

"Great," he said with a wide smile, "There's a bus leaving in an hour!"

All joking aside, I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to find out what someone like myself can do to support the troops. Say what you want about the war in Iraq, but you have to respect the courage and determination of the men and women serving in that country. Unfortunately, some of them are returning home with serious injuries. I have always felt that those who suddenly become disabled have it a lot more difficult than those of us who have grown up with disabilities.

Still, I have been able to live a productive life despite a serious disability and I hope to be able to share that message with soldiers who are recovering from serious injuries and may be wondering what sort of opportunities exist. To that end, I offered my assistance and provided the sergeant with my contact information. We'll see what happens, so stay tuned.

I didn't get on that bus today and might not be able to serve my country in the way described in the brochure, but I can't think of a better way to serve than to help those who have risked their lives.

If anyone reading this wants to offer his or her assistance as well, please let me know and I will be happy to share any information that I learn.

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