It was a bright and warm morning in early May 2009. Many families gathered in an hangar at Fort Bliss, TX, for the farewell of the 1st Armored Division Soldiers getting ready for a new deployment to Iraq. One of these Soldiers was my wonderful and loving husband, at the time staff sergeant (SSG) Victor Medina. Before leaving, he ran to me three times for a last hug and kiss. I will never forget that memory and how it felt.
Some weeks later on May 29th we celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary. Victor always made me feel so special and important in his life, and this time was no different. It was the fourth time we celebrated our anniversary apart and as always, he didn’t forget and planned ahead to make sure it was special. Little did we know we were a month away from experiencing a life detour, the biggest test of our love and lives, all in a click of a button.
On June 29, 2009 during a patrol mission, Victor’s MRAP was hit by an explosive formed projectile, one of the deadliest forms of improvised explosive devices. After moments of confusion, disorientation and pain, he was indeed “wounded in action”. Victor sustained a moderate traumatic brain injury (TBI), with scattered hemorrhage in his brain among other injuries.
The road to recovery was far from ideal, easy or pleasant. We encountered many challenges along the way, but we also experienced the beauty of faith, love and strength. We witnessed what resilience looks like, we tasted the bittersweet of new beginnings and although we bled while grabbing the thorns of frustration and sorrow, we smelled the fresh fragrance of family, friendship and support.
It is undisputed that June 29, 2009 is a day we will never forget, but also a day we will never regret.
Because of it, Victor and I have met and have been embraced by a wonderful community of people with disabilities, we are one of those families that appreciate the good in life, that doesn’t take anything for granted and that live by faith, knowing we will prevail. We have risen from the ashes.
This journey has taught us that perseverance is the master of success, gratitude opens the blinds to beauty and opportunity, that good leaders lead by example and that the healthcare system needs significant advances to understand and treat the brain.
Now, 9 years later, our healing journey hasn’t been easy but well-traveled, with many memories and stories to tell.
Roxana (~ Dr. D)
Popular posts from this blog
In 2009 when my sweet husband Victor was medevac’d from Iraq I anticipated a challenging road, but what I didn't envisioned was how much grace it will bring to our lives in this very successful healing journey. The set of expectations, demands and responsibilities sometimes felt too much to bear. The amount of commitment, love and acceptance for my husband and myself as we walked this path defined the healing in this home. Walking the path of this unexpected journey were met by a number of disappointments, but nothing compares to the joy of small victories and triumphs along the way. While walking this new unsolicited path, and experiencing a "life detour", some things are important to be identified and never taken for granted: 1.New relationships: perhaps noticing those family members you encounter in the hospital or rehabilitation center waiting room or in the hallway. They may become your new extended family, the ones you can count on. 2.Perseverance: remembering that …
I was asked to write about marriage and intimacy. What a topic of so much divergence and complicated to the human nature. When I see marriages that survived WWII, Korea and Vietnam I can’t avoid thinking “wow, how they made that happened”, but the more I speak with more experienced couples the more I see a common theme among them, values and commitment. I remember seeing my grandparents’ growing old and still saying “I love you” like it was part of their daily language. “What have we forgotten or when did we disconnect?” “There is no intimacy, there is no marriage”. These question and statement are so common and have been brought to my attention by spouses of wounded warriors. One afternoon I am sitting at home and I am reflecting in all the comments that I have heard and the pain and sorrow that these situations bring to these spouses. Are you the spouse of a wounded warrior? Life is not over, like my husband will say, “It is a new beginning”. The problem is that sometimes we are …