We are now in Baghdad, Iraq, where I sit and await word on the fate of my buddy, Tim. Tim was hit by sniper fire while we were patrolling a part of Fallujah; he was shot in the back. I immediately knew it was bad, very bad.
I am at one of Baghdad's premier hospitals; it is on an Army base. Tim has been in surgery for the past two hours; don't know when he is going to be out ... that is, if he even comes out of it alive. He was already pretty bad shape when he was Medi-vaced here; I rode along with him, praying all the way.
God must have heard my prayers because Tim was still alive when he got to the ER (but barely so). He continues to battle as the surgeons repair the damage to his back and innards. There's talk that Tim might possibly be paralyzed, but so far, that hasn't really been set in stone.
I have been sitting here, praying and reading a dusty Bible sitting on the end table next to the couch I'm sitting on; it's all I can do to keep from going stir-crazy. I look out the window; I see smoke in the distance and hear the occasional sound of bombs or gunfire. I only pray that this isn't headed in our direction; that would not be good ...
Finally! The doctor has appeared in front of me. His face looks grim as he delivers the news. Tim is going to be paralyzed from the waist on down; there was just too much damage done to his lower spine. If he does ever walk again, he will either use a walker or forearm crutches clamped to his elbows. He will never walk under his own power unless God sees to it, but right now, that looks highly unlikely.
At the news, I start sobbing like a little boy. Tim is barely a child himself; he isn't even twenty yet: he's only a teenager. He deserves far better in his life than what's just been given to him: a lifetime of disability and uncertainty. The life he knew is over; he must now adjust to doing things sitting down or propelling his body between two metal crutches, braces strapped to his legs.
This means that Tim will be leaving Iraq within a few weeks for rehab. He isn't any good for the military anymore: he is injured, and an injured soldier might as well be a dead soldier, according to our commander. He will probably be flown to Germany from here, then home back to the states. He lived in Louisiana with his family; he was a good ole Cajun boy.
He said once the doctors are finished up with him, they will take him up to the recovery unit within the hour or so; I can then see him there. They will then probably take him to the Intensive Care unit, where his condition will be closely monitored, but right now, it looks like he will have a lengthy stay in the hospital, be it here or in Germany, and ultimately, the United States. He will also face a very long recovery period in both mind and body; it is gonna be a huge adjustment on his part.
At the thought of what has happened, I start cursing the enemy who did this to my buddy. I will do everything in my power to bring them down; they deserve to rot in hell for what they did to Tim! He did not deserve this!! He had his whole life ahead of him; now thanks to a stray bullet, his life is over, and so is mine!!
~To be continued.~