September 26, 2013
May 8, 2012, our then 22 year old son, a Lance Corporal in the U.S. Marine Corps stationed in Afghanistan, stepped on an IED and lost both of his legs. It doesnt take much of an imagination to conjure up the simultaneous feelings of shock, fear, sorrow, nausea, and confusion, along with gratitude that your loved one is alive, that family and friends feel upon hearing this news. The first days are a blur. The Marine Corps flew my husband, myself, and one of our 5 children, our younger son, from Pueblo, Colorado to D.C. to Walter Reed Military Medical Center in Bethesda, MD. What a joy to see our precious son, alive and very upbeat, very much himself in spite of his injuries. How very quickly it becomes overwhelming when you are told of the months, possibly years of treatment that lie ahead and the realization that one of us will be able, thank God, to stay with him through his recovery time, but that we will be separated as a family. After a few days, my husband and younger son flew home and I stayed with our injured son. We were told about Luke's Wings, a wonderful organization that wil fly family in to visit their wounded warrior for free. What a Godsend! Our family of 7 is very close and the joy that it brought my son to have his three sisters and his beloved niece able to visit him later that week was the best medicine in the world. Many times throughout the next year, Luke's Wings provided flights which I credit directly with my son's cheerful attitude, quick healing, and keeping our family close. I was away from my then 15 year old daughter and my husband throughout that year and from my 10 year old daughter for 6 months, but thanks to Luke's Wings, my son and I flew home for the best Thanksgiving and Christmas ever, our first visit home since May. Anytime I am asked what charities were the most helpful during our time at Walter Reed, Luke's Wings is at the top of the list. Not only did they keep us together as a family, flying us between Colorado and D.C., but Jen Magerer, the liaison at Luke's Wings, is a friend to all the families at Walter Reed, coordinating fun outings, providing for us in ways above and beyond her job description, and just being a friend. I know this is a bit long, but I just can't say enough about this wonderful charity. My son and I came home this May, one year after his injuries. He is doing very well. He is now engaged to a lovely young lady who was his girlfriend last May and is now his fiancée. Luke's Wings flew her out several times over the last year as well, which definitely contributed to my son's healing process and happiness. To our family, Luke's Wings are angel's wings.
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