Sunday, October 7, 2012

Justin's Homecoming Reception


Saturday November 17th

Central Park
David Dreier Room
11200 Baseline Road 
Rancho Cucamonga Ca 91701
From 11:30am to 2:30 pm

Details of the day to follow, but for now please save the date! We would love for you to come and welcome Justin home and allow us to thank you all for everything you have done for us! The day is not planned quite yet, will mostly be a open house reception to come and say hello, we will be home for good this time!  Stay tuned as plans firm up, we will keep you updated..  We are so excited to really say, we are coming home for good!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

August 26th 2011 One Long Year

One year ago today, I received that phone call no mother ever wants to receive.  "Your son has been critically wounded in Afghanistan while on foot patrol resulting in...." You hear what they are saying but it is so hard to believe. The information of that day trickled in over the next 5 days.

Trying to comprehend what is being explained to you, preparing to pack to fly across the country for an undetermined amount of time, taking care of household items that need to be looked after, seeing that the dogs are going to be taken care of, getting time off from your jobs, relying on that phone to ring with any updates because it is not like you can drive to the hospital to be with your loved one. Such an emotional  whirlwind. Then there is flying all the way from LAX to Washington DC,  arriving tired and drained, picked up and driven to the hotel you will be living in for the next few months, check in and then be driven the hospital to finally see your son.

Seeing Justin for the first time, his beautiful face is the first thing I remember. Not a scratch on his face or arms. He cannot talk as he is on a ventilator so he is sedated and will remain that way for the next 19 days. During that time, every Monday, Wednesday, Friday was scheduled surgery for wash outs. This routine continues for months. Justin remains in ICU for months as well.

Time goes by and Justin gets strong enough to get off the vent and I think that is where we started the Blog. This feels like a good place to start to end the Blog. Once we get back home and share the final news that we are home I will post our final blog. The blog has given us a way to communicate with all of our family and friends and we thank you all for taking such an interest in reading it. We have tried to keep it light and up beat for the most part. When you experience a life changing event such as this, writing about it seems to help let everyone know what is going on, but most important helps with our emotional balance getting it out onto paper. This has been part of our healing and I tell everyone who is going through an emotionally tough time, to journal. Trust me it is healing.

Anyway, today is a day of celebration! Justin, Happy Alive Day!  You are (as you say,) invincible! So go out and live your life and enjoy each and every day. Thank you God for giving Justin back to us, we know you have plans for him and us. We will be ready. Thank you all again for all the love and support and prayers you have given to this family as well as all our wounded warriors. Please continue to pray for our military who are defending the very freedom you enjoy. God Bless you all! Happy August 26th

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Happy 4th of July

Happy 4th of July! Tomorrow we celebrate our freedom and independence. This is not something to take lightly as we reflect on those who are still in the fight to give us this freedom. My wish is for all of you to thank our military who are giving so much of themselves, away from home and loved ones. Ones who are in harms way please say prayers for their safety. I would love for our military hospitals to no longer be housing so many wounded warriors! So when you are enjoying your BBQ's tomorrow, please say thank you for our freedom.

Speaking of freedom, Justin has his newly adapted truck and will be driving us to my cousins Jon and Kandi Boda for the 4th of July! We are leaving today for a couple of days R&R. This is one more step closer to total independence! Therapy is going well, Justin works many hours a day walking the track, climbing stairs, climbing up and down an incline ramp. Then it is on to OT (occupational therapy)  where he lifts weights, practices getting in and out of his truck with his legs on, which he does not have to, playing whiffle ball etc. He leaves early in the morning and cruises in around lunch ready to hit the showers and eat a big lunch.

This past week we had a special visit from Tim Tuomey a former recon Marine who felt the need to give back to his brothers. Tim rode his bicycle from San Francisco Ca to Camp Lejune North Carolina raising money and awareness for the Semper Fi Fund.The Semper Fi Fund is a 501c3 that assists wounded Marines and Sailors with assistance after injury. They are an awesome organization that I cannot say enough about.   Tim raised $50,000!!! I am so proud of this man and we were blessed to finally meet him in person! Another special visitor who arrived with Tim was Betty Kilbride, she is an author and talk show host of All Fired Up Military Monday's where she supports the military through her talk show. I had been in phone contact, email and Facebook with these two for months and what a pleasure it was to finally meet them. Knowing there are good people who don't even know you take the time to come and meet you in person means so very much while going through the healing process. These two are friends for life that I know for sure!

Justin's room is almost finished and just in the nick of time! We are going home for a nice deserved leave and Justin will be able to check out his new man cave! While home, we have lots of places to check out like the VA, DMV etc preparing for the final homecoming down the road. We need to check out how quick he can get assistance with his prosthetics if the need arises, which it does all the time. Once he leaves Bethesda for  good, he will not have the drive by service he gets today. Literally he rolls into the lab and on the spot fix his legs! Talk about service!

Justin's medical boards are moving along quickly, too quickly for me! The parallel path between getting medically discharged and finishing physical therapy is an interesting concept. I keep telling Justin his therapy is not over until he is walking all over base with no canes and no chair! That is the goal. His med boards if they finish first can sit on a shelf until he is physically ready to go. The challenge will be holding him back! The taste of finally being home for good is a strong pull.

Well that about wraps up our month, when we get home I will post pictures of his man cave! Everyone has done such an awesome job we cannot thank you all enough. Happy 4th of July all, thank you for your continued love, support and prayers for our family! On behalf of the entire Crabbe Family, may God bless you all.  Until next update, keep a smile on your face and hug the ones you love.


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Sky Diving! Oh Yeah...

Hello to all!

Memorial Day Weekend was very memorable to us! As a family we went to Suffolk VA to watch Justin go sky diving! What a long way he has come in 9 months! We want to Thank Wounded Wear and Troop Swap for sponsoring this weekend! There is no greater feeling than to see a huge smile return to a wounded warrior!

Justin is now in his new legs after surgery. The art of prosthetics is to keep tweaking and making adjustments where necessary. He is walking really well in them using only 1 cane. He is also doing a lot of cardio and pull ups. When he comes back from therapy he is tuckered out.

Justin's truck is finished being adapted!  This was the first time he was able to drive his new truck.  He now has the opportunity to come and go as he pleases. A new sense of freedom and one step closer to independence.

We are in a good routine every day with therapy. Most of the Dr appointments have slowed down as he is healthier,  thank God! We are hoping to come home for a visit soon. Justin is anxious to see his new room. The Med Boards are moving right along. This is part of the process to medically discharge him from the Marine Corps.

We are hoping summer is just as mild a winter was this year! So far, the humidity is creeping up fast. That is one thing I cannot get used to. I can handle hot and dry, but hot and humid, whew a little much. Well not much else has been happening so I will say to all have a beautiful day and keep smiling! Until our next update, please continue to keep our troops in your prayers. Especially our deployed troops! Thank you all and on behalf of the Crabbe Family, God Bless you all and Thank you for all your love and support!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Supportive Community, we are blessed..

What a community we live in! The City of Rancho Cucamonga and the people who live here are absolutely AWESOME! I would like to devote this update to share how a community comes together to help one of their own.
First I would like to highlight our contractor Braughton Construction. When I first contacted John Braughton and explained what we needed done he said he would see what he could do. By our first meeting he had already set up the Wounded Warrior Special Project on his website. He then made numerous contacts to local contractors to see if they would be willing to assist in the project by donating time and or materials.. The list quickly grew to our surprise and seems like everyday a new name is being added to the list. Everyone is so willing to assist in this project and they all say they are pleased to be able to help a hero who defends their freedom. We are so appreciative for everyone to be so giving! Doing a remodel is HUGE. We cannot thank everyone enough for all the love and support and generosity. This once again is a tribute to the wonderful human spirit! For pictures of the progress go to the website at The pictures are amazing!

Secondly, I would like to highlight the City of Rancho Cucamonga and the Rancho Cucamonga Community and Arts Foundation for dedicating funding to a new project called the Wounded Military Fund. As a result of this 501 (c) 3, they are setting aside funding for wounded military including deceased to assist Rancho Cucamonga residents with finical assistance during the initial hardship caused by injury. The Mayor Dennis Michael himself called me personally to tell me the good news! This will be a huge benefit to our military families in their time of need, which personally I hope never gets utilized. For the whole story on this go to Rancho Cucamonga City website and click on Wounded Military Fund.

Another area around military support is our Military Family Community Group. This is a group of military families where we get together once a month to talk about our loved ones deployed, have guest speakers come in and get ourselves involved in other community events. We meet at Calvary Chapel at 10700 Town Center, Rancho Cucamonga. (just behind Target at Foothill and Haven)..the first Monday of the month. The next meeting date is Monday June 4th at 7:00pm. For more information please contact Linda S. Bryan (909) 481-0707. There are so many military families in Rancho Cucamonga and we would love to have you join our group. Personally I can tell you that this group of awesome people have been my lifesaver! They all understand where you are coming from and are always ready to jump in and help. Thank you to all my Military Family Community Group!

Well, in closing I will do a quick update on Justin with a more detailed one to follow soon. His surgery for his HO (bone growths) was a success. He is now being fitted for an new set of sockets to fit into his new legs.. The shape of his legs changed a bit and in order to get a snug fit, he needs to be re-casted for a accurate fit. His new legs are in and I cannot wait to see him on them! Justin continues daily with physical therapy and occupational therapy. He has been doing pull ups and bench pressing weights again! He is busy doing what he needs to do so he reaches his goal of coming home! That will be the most exciting day!

We are planning on going to Virginia over Memorial Day with the Wounded Warriors Event called "Jumping for a Purpose". This is where Justin will be able to go sky diving! We are all as excited as he is and are so looking forward to being there when he jumps! We will definitely post pictures of the event!

For now that is all I have to update on. Thank you all again for all your support from everyone. From Braughton Construction, all the contractors. The City of Rancho Cucamonga, Southern California Edison employees,  ESRI, all private donors.. I know I cannot even begin to name everyone as I do not have enough pages to list them all. Please know that we are so thankful to each and everyone one of you.  The Crabbe Family cannot thank you enough! God Bless you all, have a great week. Give everyone a nice warm smile.. It will make their day!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

What's new?

What is new with Justin? Seems like everyday we encounter something new. Good news first! Justin had another echo cardiogram yesterday and his heart is doing wonderful! The inflammation around his heart has gone away! Praying that it stays away. The Dr is starting to take remove his hearts meds one at a time! This is excellent news. Hearing that news yesterday had me dancing out of the Dr's office!

The stitches are out of his left hand now as well and Justin is getting more mobility since the operation to remove that pin.. It was so small about the size of pencil lead, hard to believe that little bugger could cause so much pain.

Tomorrow is our Ortho appointment. This is where we are discussing those lovely HO's in his legs. Surgery most likely will have to take place to shave the bones down. Just a matter of timing. Timing for the bones to stop growing and when is the best time to not be walking for 4-6 weeks. When you think about it that way, planning needs to take place! Justin is planing on attending a Wounded Wear event over Memorial Day weekend to go Skydiving, so we want to have him healthy for that. We also are in the midst of his Medical Board evaluation and he needs to be available to go to theVA for his appointments so again, when is the right time? It really is nice to be able to plan his surgery around our schedule, then have the surgery schedule us!

Justin is doing well in PT. Still waiting for his other new pair of legs to come in. They are due in anytime. Really a shame that the need out ways the inventory, no I won't go there.
Another sport Justin is doing is Golf. Saturday will be his first day. Last week was the first week, but he had VA appointments. A special device has been made so he can grip the club. I cannot wait to see him swing those clubs again. The golf lessons include one on one instructors, wow we are blessed.

The remodel for Justin's room started on Monday. A great big THANK YOU to Braughton Construction for all the their efforts obtaining as many donations as possible for the project! On their website they have the Wounded Warrior Project tab! Check out their website to see the wonderful job they are doing. We are so appreciative for everyone's support. Honestly we don't know where we would be without all of you! God Bless you all!
Well that about does it for our current events. Stay tuned for more exciting news as we journey along Justin's road to getting home for good.
Hope you all have an incredible week and continue to smile! Smiling does wonders for both you and the person who receives it!
Thank you again from the Crabbe Family, we sincerely mean this with all of our hearts!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Happy Easter All

With Easter comes spring, with spring new beginnings! Happy Easter everyone, looking forward to our new beginnings.

So what has been happening here in Bethesda the last few weeks. Justin went to Aspen Colorado for a theraputic ski trip! Had an absolute blast.Wishes the weather was a bit colder and a little more snow other than that he had a great time. He had two instructors throughout the week so he was well trained. Their hotel room overlooked the ski run. Nice!
Justin's been driving a lot, has another few behind the wheel classes and then he will be set to get his truck adapted so he really has freedom.  The truck arrived last week to my cousin's house in PA. He is storing it until we go and pick it up. Jon likes the truck and Justin may have to pay a ransom to get it back! There were so many expensive cars on the trailer that delivered the truck that Jon's neighbors all came out for the "car show" and took pictures of the slick cars. How fun is that?
Justin is getting used to his new legs and it waiting yet another new pair this week. He can then do a comparison test to see which ones work better for him, almost like taking a test drive in a new car. Only we test drive new legs. The checklist for comfort, weight, maneuverability, ease of use, looks, normal things you check for in legs.
Justin had surgery yesterday to remove the final pin from his left wrist. This will hopefully take care of the residual pain he has had. No more surgeries scheduled as of now until we see Ortho next week to check on the HO in his legs. Can't remember the name for HO but it is bone's continuing to grow which causes pain in the legs which in turn may need to be removed surgically.
Golf clinic starts next week, Justin can't wait to swing a club again. He will have a hand glove designed to be able to grip the club so he will be able to grip and swing the club. He is really looking forward to this as he loved to golf before. As I always say, we are learning our "new normal".
That is about all for now. Pictures will be forthcoming when Jennifer is here. She is the pro so I will leave it to her.
Keep a smile in your heart! Hugs to all.