They are soldiers, Marines, sailors, airmen and Coast Guard members, brave men and women who’ve sacrificed their physical and mental health for our country.
Some are hurt so badly they can’t continue their military career. There is a way you can help those wounded warriors and their families.
“My weapon got caught in one of the power lines that were hanging low and the electricity went through the weapon and into me.” And after that, Spc. Robert Mincks said all he remembers is waking up in a Baghdad hospital.
“We encountered a road side bomb. … It ultimately resulted in me losing my left arm, about mid bicep,” said fellow soldier Spc. Ben Ballard, who explained his injury changed his life forever.
The two soldiers are with the military police at Fort Bliss. Both were wounded in Iraq.
Mincks said his arm will never be 100percent, but he’s happy to be back on active duty. With his right arm stretched no higher than his shoulder, he said, “That’s about pretty much as high as I can go with it, without it hurting too much.”
Ballard is also back at work, with a prosthetic, mechanical arm. “When I think about closing my hand or opening my hand, it just automatically does it. It’s instantaneous!” he excitedly explained. “I knew that I was going to transition back into service. There was no ifs, ands, or buts about it,” he said.
But not all service men and women are as fortunate.
To help those who are discharged after an injury, Glenda Bromberg, wife of Fort Bliss Commanding General Howard Bromberg, helped create Bridges for Warriors and Families.
The organization helps wounded warriors and and their families cross the bridge from military life to civilian life.
“When they go home to hometown America and they wait for their VA benefits which takes a long time, we’re going to be there to help bridge that gap until those benefits kick in and they can take several months, a year, sometimes more,” Bromberg explained.
“Even if I didn’t need it, just knowing that it’s available and that people care,” Ballard said. “That’s what matters to me.”
Fort Bliss is hosting a fundraiser for the program Saturday morning. The Wounded Warriors Walk starts at 8:30.
You can register when you get there. It will cost $25.
Non-military participants are asked to use Remagen Gate, which is off of Airport Road. A driver’s license, registration and insurance are needed to enter the base.