Defending our son |

Defending our son

Sharon and Jerry BirdFrisco

Sorry Marelli, regarding your letter of May 10 and your assault on our son’s courage and integrity. Like Bush, Rove, Wolfowitz, Gone-zalez and others of your ilk, your words of complete ignorance and obvious distortion cannot and will not go unchallenged.For your information, a winner of a Bronze Star, two purple hearts,three tours of overseas combat duty and 10 years in the military no doubt puts anything you have done militarily to shame. Rescuing his squad on three separate occasions serving in Tikrit, Mosul, TalAfar, Baghdad and Diyala Province are mute testimony to his courage and convictions.Seeing his squad decimated in the killing field of Diyala finally took its toll.Upon suffering his eighth concussion in the military (ninth overall), plus shrapnel wounds in Diyala in a grenade attack, he rescued his men and collapsed. He was removed to his base with a severe brain concussion.He languished in Diyala for 60 days with a traumatic brain injury and was treated for a migraine headache. When he called and we inquired to his condition he told us what was wrong, you may consider that whining we didn’t. His new first sergeant who served with him before in combat told us something was just not right with Rich. They even tried to send him back into combat in this condition but his sergeant said no way. We asked those in the medical field here about his condition and they advised us something seemed very wrong. We took action to help our son and asked Rep. Udall’s office to look into this. Within five days, Rich was sent for a CT scan in Bilad, Diyala, and then flown to Germany for an MRI and a full neurological exam. The doctor upon doing the neurological cancelled the MRI, as he found five serious symptoms of traumatic brain injury, diagnosed him with permanant brain damage and an 80 percent disability and is reccommending a medical discharge. Rich is being sent back to the states for rehab and rest and cannot engage in as much as a pillow fight. He landed in Washington, D.C., on Saturday.Welcome home, Rich. You are our hero and a hero to your men. You served your country well and unlike those who criticize you from Breck you wish to continue your service in what ever capacity you can. We wish you the best son.

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