Geez, Semper this time you made me blush AND cry...thank you for such a very nice compliment.
BTW, here is something we can do to help one of our soldiers. Just a simple holiday card would be welcome and you can easily add this address to your
list this year.
U.S. Soldier needs YOUR HELP!!!
This letter was e-mailed to a friend of mine so I believe it to not be a fake. This U.S. soldier has lost his legs, his arm and well basically, his
life. He apparently is being hit by serious depression and writing letters, sending cards to him would really help. Here is his story, as told by his
On 13 Aug 2005 somewhere around 930pm I was chillin out in my bunker in Iraq watching a movie on my laptop when a Chinese rocket landed about 100
meters from me. This wasn't unusual in and of itself, my area of the FOB was always targeted by insurgents (I lived in the HQ/Command area) and we
got hit every other week or so (sometimes once a week). for some reason, they preferred to fire at us on Saturdays. I don't know why.
In response we fired some illumination rounds and sent out a QRF (quick reaction force) to try to find the insurgents who fired the rocket. Anyway,
the first humvee which turned down the road outside our FOB went over a hell of an IED.
the humvee blew up, the gunner was blown a few yards up, out, and away from the humvee. 2 of the others inside were able to open their doors, the
driver took 2 steps before falling dead, the vehicle commander took 4 steps. The guy in the back never got out. The explosion set off a fire and the
ammo in the humvee started cooking off.
Another QRF went with the medics to try to save them but couldn't reach the humvee because the ammo in the humvee was cooking off and was literally
"shooting" in every direction. I'm talking about soliders taking cover from bullets shooting out of a burning vehicle, while trying to save lives
(at the time they didn't know they were dead). About an hour after the fact the fire died down and even then the medics had to use water to cool the
bodies down in order to pick them up and put them in body bags (plural, with 3 exceptions, everyone that I knew that got killed over there went home
in multiple body bags).
I"m writing this about the survivor, SGT Kevin Downs. The initial IED blast took off both of his legs and covered over 80% of his body in 2nd and 3rd
degree burns. We were scheduled to go home in October and he was to be married then.
Being Adjutant, I was a part of the whole story we're talking about. I was in the TMC (troop medical center) when they brought him in. He was so
badly burned he kept asking our Squadron Surgeion (Doc Spradlin) if his penis were burned off (I'm under the impression from the conversation with
Doc Spradlin that SGT Downs or his fiance were virgins). All they could really do was dope him up and wait on the medevac chopper from LSA Anaconda.
the chopper came, got him, took him to Anaconda, and began to treat him.
They stabilized him and sent SGT Downs to Germany. They stabilized him some more and sent him to Texas. He's still there. They're in the process of
amputating one of his arms and he still hasn't recovered from the burns. He almost died last Christmas/Yule from pneumonia and is having trouble
again. I hate to say it but his ongoing health struggle makes me wonder who was the luckier soldier that night- the 3 dead or him? It's that bad.
Anyway, the reason I'm writing this is that I"m going to write SGT Downs a letter. The purpose is to let him know that he isn't forgotten. He's
spent over a year in a hospital recovering from injuries and his life, assuming he lives, will never be the same. No idea on when he will fully,
completely recover. No idea if he will ever really go home (he left TN on June 2004, had 10 days leave in Oct 2004, had 14 days leave in early 2005,
that's it) again.
I'm throwing his address out to anyone who would like to send him a card.
SGT Kevin Downs
Brooke Army Medical Center
Bldg. 3600, Room 430 West
3851 Roger Brook Dr.
Ft. Sam Houston, TX 78234