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A Must Read Email From an American Soldier (first hand account of Rumsfeld's visit)
TheBantyRooster ^ | 12/24/04 | Captain Dan Mattson

Posted on 12/25/2004 1:01:11 AM PST by Cableguy

It made my day, and I'm pretty certain it made theirs too. It's Christmas Eve, though it didn't feel like it. There are some good decorations in the hospital, but we had no Christmas music in the OR today, and no snow on the ground. No nativity scenes or festive cheer in this part of the world. Then, after a routine for here but hardly routine day in the OR, my day was made. I'm referring to the interaction I witnessed and helped facilitate between a young injured soldier and a high ranking official. Here is how it happened:

I was reading foxnews.com at around noon when I told the anesthesiologist that "the Donald" was in town on a surprise visit. No, not Donald Trump, but Donald Rumsfeld. He laughed cynically and said no way would he come here. Well, at around 1600 I was in the OR and I was told that Rumsfeld was downstairs, and we could go down there if we wanted to. I was not in a position to leave, obviously.

Well, the timing worked out well, because I was taking my patient to the recovery room when we wheeled the stretcher through a mob of dignitaries, to include 3 and 4 star generals. I knew the Secretary was nearby, and it turns out he was in the ICU. The patient drew enough attention because of his bruised, banged up face that the 4 star came over to get his story from the surgeon. I was doing some charting by the bedside when Mr. Rumsfeld came over and heard the kid's story from the 4-star. Rumsfeld looked concerned and kind of kept his distance from the gruesome site. He said something like "bless his heart", as if talking around him.

That is when I, without any thought, piped in with "Sir, you can talk to him, he's awake." He told the soldier, named Rob, how proud he was of his service. The soldier was in a bit of disbelief, because he couldn't see with one eye patched and the other swollen shut. He said he wanted to talk to Rumsfeld. That's when I said "He's standing right to your left, Rob, that's his voice you hear. You can talk to him." The kid was nervous at that point, but sputtered out how honored he was to talk to him. Mr. Rumsfeld replied, "No, it's an honor for me to talk to you."

Then remarkably, the young soldier, who had just lost his left hand and right eye from an explosion, came to the defense of the Secretary of Defense, stating "Mr. Rumsfeld, I want you to know, that you are doing a fantastic job. I know that you are taking a lot of heat for the problems with getting armor for vehicles. I want you to know that things are vastly improved. Our vehicles are great, and I have never searched through junk piles for scrap metal."

At this point, Rumsfeld looked choked up, and I had a lump in my throat and and watery eyes. It was moving. What makes a man who has been so close to death, and maimed for life, come to the defense of the Army's highest ranking official? Loyalty, I dare say. Did Rob think Mr. Rumsfeld was having a self-esteem problem? In his greatest hour of need, his thoughts went to the emotional needs of another. I found it quite amazing, and moving. The Secretary took out a coin and gave it to a bystander for him, as if he didn't know he could touch him. Finally, the soldier said, "Man, Donald Rumsfeld, I wish I could shake his hand."

Even at that, I felt Mr. Rumsfeld needed some prompting, so I picked up the kid's arm and looked at the Secretary, and he reached out and took the kid's hand. After the entourage left, I took the coin and placed it in the soldiers hand, for him to feel and hold. I said, "that's not one you'll get every day." He was happy. I told the person caring for him to make certain that coin went with him to his room. I was assured that he would. I told Rob it was an honor to care for him, and then went on to do my next case. I'd like to see him tomorrow, but I heard he is flying out tonight.

I am grateful that I was placed in a position to help what could have been a mediocre interaction, fantastic. Judging by people's facial expressions, it was truly unique. Someone took a picture as this was happening, so once I get a hold of it, I'll send it along.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: fobmarez; iraq; personalaccount; rumsfeld; surprisevisit

1 posted on 12/25/2004 1:01:11 AM PST by Cableguy
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To: Cableguy

Anyone offering bets on whether this story ever sees the light of day in the MSM?


2 posted on 12/25/2004 1:09:24 AM PST by shibumi ("In any compromise between good and evil, it is only evil that can profit." - John Galt)
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To: Cableguy

I just found this and have posted a link to a blog on two threads..Thank you for posting it as a thread..

I needed a hankie. God Bless this young man..Where do we get these men?


3 posted on 12/25/2004 2:07:22 AM PST by MEG33 (MERRY CHRISTMAS!.....GOD BLESS OUR ARMED FORCES)
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To: Cableguy; Calpernia; Velveeta; lacylu; DAVEY CROCKETT; jerseygirl; Cindy; appalachian_dweller; ...

Ping

I a glad that Cableguy found and posted this story.


4 posted on 12/25/2004 2:39:27 AM PST by nw_arizona_granny (Today, please pray for God's miracle, we are not going to make it without him.)
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To: nw_arizona_granny

Christmas blessings to you Granny and yes I saw this.
THANK YOU.


5 posted on 12/25/2004 2:42:34 AM PST by Cindy
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To: Cableguy
This young man is my hero, the presence of mind even though his body is wounded and broken.

Humbling and inspiring, prayers for him.
6 posted on 12/25/2004 2:49:26 AM PST by Just mythoughts
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To: Kathy in Alaska

Ping


7 posted on 12/25/2004 3:01:57 AM PST by MEG33 (MERRY CHRISTMAS!.....GOD BLESS OUR ARMED FORCES)
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To: windchime

ping


8 posted on 12/25/2004 3:06:13 AM PST by MEG33 (MERRY CHRISTMAS!.....GOD BLESS OUR ARMED FORCES)
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To: MEG33; Cableguy

Thanks, MEG, for the ping to a great story of one of our heroes.


9 posted on 12/25/2004 3:25:27 AM PST by Kathy in Alaska (Support Our Troops! Operation Valentine's Day ~ www.proudpatriots.org)
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To: BigSkyFreeper

Ping


10 posted on 12/25/2004 3:27:06 AM PST by MEG33 (MERRY CHRISTMAS!.....GOD BLESS OUR ARMED FORCES)
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To: Cableguy; MEG33
Wonderful story Cableguy, thanks for posting that on this the day of the birth of our Lord!

Thanks for the ping MEG33, a very Merry Christmas to YOU and yours. :)

11 posted on 12/25/2004 3:34:11 AM PST by BigSkyFreeper (Merry CHRISTmas!!)
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To: MEG33

Thanks for the ping to a terrific story! Extraordinary composure exhibited by this wounded hero.


12 posted on 12/25/2004 3:49:54 AM PST by windchime (Merry Christmas!)
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To: Cableguy

Thanks for posting this wonderful Christmas story. Merry Christmas to all.


13 posted on 12/25/2004 4:01:35 AM PST by NVD
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To: Cableguy
At this point, Rumsfeld looked choked up, and I had a lump in my throat and and watery eyes.

I saw two separate film clips of Sec Rumsfeld speaking to the troops in which he choked up. I already loved this man, but to see him overcome with emotion in the presence of our troops just heightens my respect and admiration for our SecDef.

14 posted on 12/25/2004 4:13:46 AM PST by alnick
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To: Cableguy; All
Thanks Cableguy.

Merry Christmas ... to us all!

15 posted on 12/25/2004 4:36:27 AM PST by G.Mason ("Liberty means responsibility. Thatís why most men dread it". ó George Bernard Shaw)
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To: MEG33

WE get them from around the world. They or their ancestors came to America to become Americans and share in the American dream.
A dream worth fighting for.
One hell of a fine American soldier, GOD bless them all.


16 posted on 12/25/2004 4:42:45 AM PST by Joe Boucher (politically correct? Ha.)
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To: Joe Boucher

Indeed..I am humbled by their service..Amen


17 posted on 12/25/2004 4:44:36 AM PST by MEG33 (MERRY CHRISTMAS!.....GOD BLESS OUR ARMED FORCES)
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To: Cableguy

THANKS TONS.

MUCH APPRECIATED AND SENT TO MY EMAIL LIST.

Best of CHRISTmas to you and yours.


18 posted on 12/25/2004 4:44:53 AM PST by Quix (5having a form of godliness but denying its power. I TIM 3:5)
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To: Cableguy

Yesterday morning, FoxNews was showing the new videos of Rumsfeld as they were coming in from Iraq.

In one, SecDef Rumsfeld was presenting The Purple Heart to a wounded soldier in bed. It was a very touching video.


19 posted on 12/25/2004 4:54:41 AM PST by TomGuy (America: Best friend or worst enemy. Choose wisely.)
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To: MEG33
Where do we get these men?

They come from all walks of life from the Greatest Country in the World, trained by American Moms & Dads first and later by our magnificent Military. Pass the Kleenex ,

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!

20 posted on 12/25/2004 4:56:00 AM PST by yoe
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To: yoe

Merry Christmas to you and yours..


21 posted on 12/25/2004 4:57:59 AM PST by MEG33 (MERRY CHRISTMAS!.....GOD BLESS OUR ARMED FORCES)
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To: Cableguy

Wonderful! Great to read, and for sure we'll never see a word of it in the MSM. I made the mistake of turning on the BBC yesterday -- they were 'analyzing' Rumsfeld's visit. (Rumsfeld's sole reason for going to Iraq was to counteract recent bad press. Sure, soldiers cheered, even gave him a standing O...but they're dolts. The implication was that if American soldiers had the brains they were borh with, they'd have all run off to Canada by now.) I turned the BBC off. Enough was enough.


22 posted on 12/25/2004 5:23:49 AM PST by hershey
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To: Cableguy
"Mr. Rumsfeld, I want you to know, that you are doing a fantastic job...."

I feel that way as well, but it's going to mean a whole lot more to Rummy coming from our wounded warrior. God bless Rob, God bless Rummy, and God bless our military men and women, every one.

23 posted on 12/25/2004 5:52:19 AM PST by Bahbah
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To: Cableguy

Great find! Thanks for the article. Bookmarking it for keeps.


24 posted on 12/25/2004 6:01:30 AM PST by Zechariah11
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To: Cableguy
Thanks for the post. Just what I needed on Christmas, to wake up with a blurry screen.
I particularly love this part - "through a mob of dignitaries, to include 3 and 4 star generals" I bet if The Donald (I like that) turned quickly he'd break one of their noses. Keep those multi star boobs out of the way, and let him spend more time with the troops and troopettes. They can always kiss his butt back in Washington.
25 posted on 12/25/2004 6:50:12 AM PST by ProudVet77 (MERRY CHRISTMAS, damn it!)
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To: Cableguy

I cried openly while reading this. God bless our armed forces, greatest people who will ever live!


26 posted on 12/25/2004 7:06:12 AM PST by lwoodham
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To: Cableguy
Then remarkably, the young soldier, who had just lost his left hand and right eye from an explosion, came to the defense of the Secretary of Defense, stating "Mr. Rumsfeld, I want you to know, that you are doing a fantastic job. I know that you are taking a lot of heat for the problems with getting armor for vehicles. I want you to know that things are vastly improved. Our vehicles are great, and I have never searched through junk piles for scrap metal."

That is showing amazing presence of mind for someone just out of surgery. I would think that most people, if they can speak at all, usually manage "mumble mumble feel terrible mumble go away mumble" and stuff like that.

27 posted on 12/25/2004 8:00:37 AM PST by exDemMom (Truth, justice, and the American way!)
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To: MEG33

If anyone here works in the senate, I hope they print this out and give a copy to McCain, Hagel, Collins and Lott. Look at what they are doing, look at what was on that young man's mind.


28 posted on 12/25/2004 8:01:14 AM PST by McGavin999 (Senate is trying to cover their A$$es with Rumsfeld hide)
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To: McGavin999

I fear their political motives and personal agendas would blind them to this message.


29 posted on 12/25/2004 8:06:04 AM PST by MEG33 (MERRY CHRISTMAS!.....GOD BLESS OUR ARMED FORCES)
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To: Just mythoughts
I am reminded of the ancient Celtic poem:

"Yea, though I am wounded, I am not slain,

I'll lay me down and bleed awhile, and then arise and Fight Again!"

30 posted on 12/25/2004 10:08:36 AM PST by Redleg Duke (Pass Tort Reform Now! Make the bottom clean for the catfish!)
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To: Cableguy

Ping me when the pics are posted, I'd love to see them. :)


31 posted on 12/25/2004 10:18:14 AM PST by Netizen (jmo)
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To: Cableguy

Great post, thank you.


32 posted on 12/25/2004 10:29:52 AM PST by Enterprise (The left hates the Constitution. Islamic Fascism hates America. Natural allies.)
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To: Revel

Here is your ping.


33 posted on 12/25/2004 5:32:25 PM PST by nw_arizona_granny (Today, please pray for God's miracle, we are not going to make it without him.)
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To: MEG33

I found this via your post on another thread. Thank you for getting it out there.


34 posted on 12/25/2004 7:38:07 PM PST by Dolphy
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To: Redleg Duke

I am reminded of the ancient Celtic poem:

"Yea, though I am wounded, I am not slain,

I'll lay me down and bleed awhile, and then arise and Fight Again!"


Thanks, very appropriate.


35 posted on 12/25/2004 7:43:02 PM PST by Just mythoughts
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To: MEG33

"Where do we get these men?"

These men and women come from every area of humanity that makes up the culture of these United States. A large majority of them, including the courageous young Patriot of whom this article speaks, is from the generation that has been called spoiled, pampered and selfish. The generation about which much has been said and written, mostly in negative terms.

Suprise! Suprise! This generation of Americans, same as every other generation from our founding Fathers and Mothers to the present generation, arise to the challange, whatever it may be.

America will be in the hands of the best there is, tomorrow, just like it has always been.

May God bless all our valient young warriors. Bless their hearts.


36 posted on 12/25/2004 8:24:39 PM PST by F.J. Mitchell (Let's just declare rigormortis victorious over Helling Thomass and leave her at the crematorium.)
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To: F.J. Mitchell

Amen


37 posted on 12/26/2004 1:07:03 AM PST by MEG33 (MERRY CHRISTMAS!.....GOD BLESS OUR ARMED FORCES)
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To: Cableguy


http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-bloggers/1307671/posts?page=5#5

That's the first-hand account from the one who asked Rummy the killer question about how biased the media is.


38 posted on 12/26/2004 1:09:53 AM PST by Keith in Iowa (Democrats: Tolerant of all people and opinions. Except me & mine - Conservative, Christian.)
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To: MikeinIraq

ping


39 posted on 12/26/2004 1:16:14 AM PST by MEG33 (MERRY CHRISTMAS!.....GOD BLESS OUR ARMED FORCES)
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To: MEG33

This entire administration has men and women just as dedicated to the people in our armed forces as Rummy showed there. From the Presidents on down, through Cheney, Powell and Rice......

thanks for the ping


40 posted on 12/26/2004 1:51:42 AM PST by MikefromOhio (16 days until I can leave Iraq and stop selling hot dogs in Baghdad....and boycotting boycotts)
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To: MikeinIraq

You are welcome..


41 posted on 12/26/2004 2:16:09 AM PST by MEG33 (MERRY CHRISTMAS!.....GOD BLESS OUR ARMED FORCES)
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