Thursday, November 06, 2008

Combat Infantrymen Freshmen

The New York Times' excellent article on Combat Veterans transitioning to college life.

Crowded classrooms routinely sent him into a panic. Cubicles triggered tunnel vision. He felt alienated from the 18-year-olds around him and their antics. His leg throbbed as he wandered the campus, trying to remember where to go. His concentration whipsawed and the words he read in textbooks slipped easily from his memory, the result of a mild traumatic brain injury.

A charismatic Marine Corps veteran, Mr. Blanchard, 25, could trace his difficulties to Iraq and the summer of 2005, when a Humvee he was riding in detonated a bomb buried under the sand. The blast claimed half his left leg and mangled his right leg. In short order, he endured numerous surgeries, months in a wheelchair, a titanium prosthesis and intermittent swirls of depression and pessimism. Until, as he tells it, he woke up one morning and decided to count his blessings.

OYE Comment: OYE's Karl said it best in the E-mail sent to me: "And the Yellow Elephants are STILL missing out on, like, life."


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