I received my quilt today and I would like to thank you for it. I must admit, after reading the letter, it brought a tear to my eye because of the message it sends. Very few "average Americans" can grasp how war affects a family. They may read about it or see it on TV, but that does not come close to showing the daily struggles or its actual toll, both mentally and physically it has on a service member and their family.
In my case, I was part of 8-12 man team that conducted "special or highly dangerous" missions. Of all 12, I am one of three that are still alive today. Being the only medic on the team, each of those men died in my arms. I see their faces every night my head hits the pillow and my eyes close. I have spent the last four years begging for forgiveness, both from their families and god. I have been stabbed, almost beat to death because they tried to capture me, shot twice, and in a large explosion that left me with a TBI.
After four years away from the service, I am still fighting the VA for proper compensation of benefits. I have had 13 surgeries so far, with at least two more to go. I have been convinced that the American people just does not want to know the truth, because if they did, there would be more voices heard by or elected officials on fixing the problems with the system, protecting our benefits, and ensuring our benefits in a timely manner.
I DO NOT consider myself a hero. The real hero's come home with a flag draped coffin because they made the ultimate sacrifice. The other hero's I speak of are the families because they are left with picking up the pieces once we come home. I see that I have just rambled on and on here in this email, and for that I do apologize.
Thank you again for the quilt and for the moral support it represents.