For injured soldiers returning stateside from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the first sight they often see are the walls of an intensive care unit. With multiple tubes running from IV poles into their arms, with monitors beeping in the background, with unfamiliar noises and faces, their new surroundings are only the beginning of a new life, a new reality. So, where do they go from here?
With loss of limbs, vision or hearing, with imbedded shrapnel and burns to the flesh, with head trauma and more, the picture seems bleak and often a sense of hopelessness engulfs the human spirit. How then do they pick up the pieces and start over?
It would make us feel better to think that they all recover. We’d like to think that they all return home and pick up where they left off before they were deployed, but sometimes that’s just not the case.