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Bittersweet news from Iraq

I found out today that my cousin* was injured in Iraq recently. Last I knew he was part of the crew that was running patrols in Fallujah. The humvee he was riding in was hit by an explosive – unsure whether it was an IED or RPG – throwing him and the other three soldiers out of the vehicle. The other three soldiers had broken bones, while my cousin was hit by some shrapnel. He will be coming home at the end of the month.

I only know what has filtered down through the family, so details probably aren’t exact. I can only assume his injuries weren’t critical because of how long it took to get to me. Someone told my grandma, and she told my mom, and she told my sister, and she told me. I have seen my mom all day today so there was plenty of opportunities to tell me earlier.

*Techincally he is my mom’s cousin, but I’m a year or two older than he is so he’s been more like a cousin than a second cousin.

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About James

I am a Senior Developer/Consultant for InfoPlanIT, LLC. I previously spent over 7 years as a Product Manager for what eventually became ComponentOne, a division of GrapeCity. While there, I helped to create ActiveReports 7, GrapeCity ActiveAnalysis, and Data Dynamics Reports.

Discussion

4 thoughts on “Bittersweet news from Iraq

  1. Well, be glad that he’s alive. That’s something after all 🙂 And I hope he gets better soon. Though from his point of view, he might want to delay getting better if it means being sent back to Iraq.

    Posted by Nish | August 17, 2004, 3:16 am
  2. Thanks Nish.

    Oddly enough he didn’t ship out with his unit the first time because of an injury that required surgery. I didn’t post about it above because I just can’t remember the details.

    At the time he just wanted to be with his unit, and from what other injured soldiers have said, I assume the same is true now.

    Posted by James T. Johnson | August 17, 2004, 3:24 am
  3. Good soldiers seem to be able to put fear aside and do their job. I don’t know if its training or instinct, but I admire him for being there.

    BTW, my wife’s cousin just got shipped to Afghanistan. It’s not as dangerous as Iraq, but it’s not a walk in the park either.

    Posted by JasonH | August 17, 2004, 3:13 pm
  4. Not only do many of them put aside their fear to do the job; they would rather go out and fight than be left on base.

    As one soldier put it, a firefighter who never got to fight fires would be unlikely to keep riding the truck.

    “I joined the Army to run around in the woods, blow things up and bite the heads off snakes,” said Master Sgt. Jerry Johnson, who leads retention efforts in the 82nd Airborne Division.

    “When I’m guarding something on post, when I’m doing book work or practicing map-reading, that’s not exciting,” he said. “That’s not what I joined for. When I’m in a combat situation, I’m doing what I signed up to do.”

    I pray that your wife’s cousin will stay safe over there. It may be safer than Iraq, but I know we’re much safer over here thanks to them.

    Posted by James T. Johnson | August 17, 2004, 3:45 pm

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