Every soldier injured severely enough to leave their units in Iraq or Afghanistan go through that hospital in Germany. They do incredible work there. The article centers on one injured soldier who had his leg blown off, in telling the story of the medical center, its staff, and its work.
Two things in the article really grabbed me. They drove home to me the enormity of this side of the war. The enormity of which we regular citizens don’t see, don’t hear about, don’t know enough about. As the author points out it is and enormity that will affect us as a nation and as people for a long time to come.
The soldier the article focuses on is “more or less the 44,360th person hurt badly enough to be evacuated out of Iraq or Afghanistan”. 44,360th and that was months ago.
And then the article’s thought provoking closing:
“We can send you to a broiling desert across the world to fight precision battles in a country you know nothing about; and we can beam you up when you’re hurt and put you down in the middle of Germany, rebuild your leg, get you free cheese and $50,000. But there are some things we just can’t do. And what it is we couldn’t save Mike Brown from what he’ll find out next [back home].”
What we do for all the Mike Brown’s into the future is our challenge as well.
[“The City of Broken Men” by Devin Friedman, GQ, July, 2008]