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Life Arts

Bob: Burned in Combat - Family of War Series

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Susan Galleymore       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   No comments

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View Ratings | Rate It Headlined to H4 11/4/09

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BOB had been completely surprised by the car that came outta nowhere and rammed into the Bradley Fighting Vehicle! All hell had broken loose.

The bomber dude must have been sitting on a huge pile of explosives because the impact killed our tank commander right off and hurt two of our guys, one of them burned even worse than Bob".

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It was cool that his mom flew to Germany to be there even though Bob was unconscious for the first few days. She told him that he'd been able to breathe only with a respirator. Funny thing about being hurt that bad, you don't feel that much. Even burns are not as bad as he imagined. Drugs are great--although too much of a good thing also means you can't think straight or do physical therapy.

Man, when he saw his arms and hands on fire right after the explosion - what he could see out of his messed up eyes and his bloody face - he thought for sure he was dying. Next thing he was being e'vaced to Brooks burn unit in San Antonio. That was after the emergency craniotomy to release pressure on his brain.

In Brooks he learned the extent of his injuries: burns on his hands, arms, face, multiple injuries to his neck, torn cheek muscles, severed artery in his wrist, metal and shrapnel lodged in his skull and brain, and unknown injuries to his eyes. The silver-dollar-sized hole in his cheek healed from the inside and the long-term prognosis looked good. The eye surgeons removed shrapnel from his right eye and still worked on his severely injured left eye.

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The TBI [Traumatic Brain Injury] is tough: sometimes Bob can't remember things from the day before. Some days in class he can't remember sh*t -- other days are okay. He hopes the dizziness will just go away so he hasn't told the doc about it. At least his teacher understands what's up: his kid brother is in Iraq. Anyway, Bob's gone through some rough sh*t before, but will he ever get back the life he left behind?

(This art work expressed the horror faced by families of those injured in war. And I hold that the suffering of Iraqis and Afghans- and so many others - is not yet receiving much attention. Feel free to comment on the symbols used here.)


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Susan Galleymore is the author of Long Time Passing: Mothers Speak about War and Terror, sharing the stories of people in Iraq, Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, and U.S. [Pluto Press 2009]. She is also host and producer of Raising Sand Radio (more...)

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