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By Thomas D. Segel

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Tears for the Wounded Warriors
(September 10, 2009)

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Harlingen, Texas, September 7, 2009 -- When we develop enough backbone, we should seriously challenge the media on the issue of providing us with its agenda oriented and selected news coverage. In war related news, both electronic and print media has been very detailed about reporting the death totals of American service personnel, the latest roadside bomb blasts and any military mistake. What is rarely reported are the feats of our heroes on the battlefield. Those very special heroes are not only the individuals who perform great acts of bravery, but also the men and women who give of their blood and endure unbelievable pain in defense of every person in this country.

Supporting our men and women in uniform means much more than placing a bumper sticker on the back of an SUV or flying the American Flag on selected holidays. It means we should really “care” about those who take up arms in defense of the nation. It means we should be doing everything humanly possible to ease the pain of those who will wear the scars of combat forever. And yes, it means we should not only mourn our war dead, but also shed tears for all the wounded warriors.

Of course, these expressions of loss or concern are difficult to bring forth when we have an American news media that does everything possible to mute or dismiss the stories of how our young warriors must fight through their pain, often alone, without the comfort of understanding friends and neighbors.

How many wounded warriors does America now possess? The Department of Defense seems foggy on the subject, but has reported more than 33,000 men and women have been wounded in battle. There are other reports saying that number is closer to 50,000 and if we are to believe the figures of the anti-war movement, they place the number at 153,000 wounded veterans.

But, the numbers don’t really mean that much. Just one person wounded in action is very important to know about and every one wounded following that first individual should be held close and cared for with great tenderness.

But, in defense of our citizens, it is almost impossible to garner expressions of concern when the public remains uninformed by a distorted, agenda driven media. For example, how many of you have been told the story of 34-year-old Marine Master Sergeant (MSgt) Eden Pearle, now in Brook Army Medical Center in Texas?

It was one month ago when MSgt Pearle was celebrating his birthday patrolling in a Humvee. This Recon Marine who has served his country in foreign lands from Africa to multiple tours of duty in both Afghanistan and Iraq could never imagine how that birthday road trip would end. One moment everything was calm…the next there was an explosion. Two Marines were killed in the IED blast. Another was wounded and MSgt Pearle, who was sitting near or over the gas tank, was engulfed in flame and burned over 100% of his body. He also lost an arm just below the elbow and has had four fingers of the remaining hand surgically removed.

Skilled medical teams have attempted to cover his burned body with salvaged cadaver skin, but there seems to be some rejection of this process that has created infections that can seriously impact his recovery. If Eden Pearle does survive, his stay in the hospital could be two years or longer.

From his home in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, Jeff Pearle, his father rushed to Texas and has been by his son’s side since he arrived at the Army burn unit. His mother, at latest reports, was unable to make the journey. Marines familiar with the family and their finances have been passing the word on the Internet that assistance is needed to allow them to remain near Eden. Because of limited income, the father must return to his job on September 12 and will be unable to continue visiting his son.

It seems almost paradoxical that at a time when the nation is fixated on the subject of healthcare, Marines must call out to others wearing the Eagle, Globe and Anchor of their Corps to help another Marine family who deserve far more than this country will ever provide.

One Marine, Tim Harrington, from the Pearle’s neighboring town of Dennis is being kept informed of the Master Sergeant’s condition and progress. He is also the person who has initiated a call to other Marines for assistance to a family. That call was heard by another retired Marine, Randy Givens rg2162@earthlink.net who picked it up from a Special Operations email list and sent it forward to other members of the worldwide Marine family.

This is only one brief story of pain, suffering and sacrifice that should be told again and again in every case where our brave sons and daughters are forever damaged by the ravages of war. These brave hearts should always be honored, we should always extend a helping hand…and yes, we should shed tears for our wounded warriors.

By Thomas D. Segel
Tom@thomasdsegel.com
www.thomasdsegel.com

Copyright 2009

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