I have always been extremely close to my cousin. We're three weeks apart in age and that made us have a very special bond/connection growing up and on into adulthood. She had her kids at a young age and I had the privilege of watching her kids grow up through the years.
My cousin's son, R, is in the military (Marines) and is stationed in Afghanistan. We found out last night that R lost his leg below the knee when an IED exploded. He's in good spirits and has been in contact with his wife and his Mom/Dad/brother/sister. R and his wife have two young children (almost 2 and almost 3). He'll be transferred to Germany before returning to the US.
Another quick update: R had surgery (one of many, many he's had in the past week) a couple days ago to attach the muscle to the bone. Apparently it was very painful. That coupled with the fact that they found a blood clot in his lung, R is having a tough time. My prayers, love and hugs to R.
I wrote a short post about my cousin's son who was wounded in Afghanistan two weeks ago today. He lost his leg below the knee when an IED exploded. His leg was amputated out in the field. In fact to make this story all the more impressive ... when his medic froze, he actually helped guide the medic through the steps needed to cut off extra bits/tie off the wound, etc. Fortunately no one else in his unit was wounded, but our heart still goes out to him for the recovery and adjustments he'll need to endure in the coming months. He was evacuated first to Germany and has been back in the US for about a week. The kids, hubby and I were finally able to go visit him this weekend and are amazed at how good he looks. He, his wife and his Mom (my cousin) have been very impressed by the care he has received. He's fighting fungal infections (because conditions in Afghanistan are so poor), but is making good progress (though he's been in and out of surgery). We are ever so proud of his courage and strength.
He was awarded the purple heart this past week and was honored to receive it directly from President Obama. He has had the support of those in his unit, his friends and family -- but to know that his country truly honors his courage and sacrifice... is a comfort as well.
R is doing well, though suffers from PTSD. His younger brother, C, graduated from high school and he decided to join the Marines in 2013. In his first tour in Afghanistan, C was wounded. From what I understand, he was shot in the chest, but since he was wearing body armor the bullet did not penetrate. He was thrown back, had serious internal injuries, and suffers from debilitating back problems. He is on permanent disability.