one stands again, another won't

Erin Curry polaroid Japanese Magnolia

Back in September, I wrote about how my best friend's brother was seriously injured in Iraq. Both of his lower legs were amputated and and his left elbow sustained multiple fractures requiring surgery to replace it with a cadaver's. Finally, just last week he was fitted for his prothesises and is learning to walk with beginner ones. He and Alica have been working together as a team for all this time at Fort Sam Houston, Texas waiting for his body to heal enough to start the process and I couldn't be happier that Catlin is "gettin' vertical". The sooner he walks, the sooner he and Alicia come home.

On a very sad note, there is one more young man who will not be coming home. I just learned a couple days ago the Duncan Crookston, the only other survivor of that September explosion died on January 25th after fighting for his life for almost five months in the ICU. I met his wife briefly when I went to visit Catlin and Alicia in San Antonio and I was first struck by her youth (19) and then her remarkable strength; she couldn't wait to get Duncan home just so she could take care of him. She has been a hero in all of this, and I imagine she is, at least part of, the reason Duncan held on for so long. The Denver Post wrote a little article about Duncan's funeral which Catlin(Joe) contributed to. There is a beautiful tribute written by a friend of his here and here, bring tissues.

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