Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sleepy Sunday!

Justin slept all day long. He pretty much only woke up to eat today. They discontinued his ketamine which totally knocks him out. So there isn't a whole lot to report from today. Mom and I gave him a nice sponge bath (instead of the bath wipes they normally use). Maybe thats why he slept all afternoon because he was enjoying the pampering. (Just kidding) 

Plan for tomorrow: he will be having a picc line placed (again) and the central line removed (again). Justin is very excited for this and I am being honest! Justin's words to the doctor "Can you please remove this central line, its really starting to piss me off." They may remove the external pins from his left hand, but it was still up in the air as of this afternoon. I think the hand surgeon will decide tomorrow. Justin's next and hopefully last big surgery is tentatively scheduled for Oct. 24th. That day they will be doing the skin graft on his right leg and right hand. The downside of the surgery is the pain from the donor site where the skin will be removed. It will feel like road-rash according to the plastic surgeon. We are hoping for a good week and hopefully be making more progress in therapy.  

Here is a quote I came across and thought I would share it. 
"America's fighting men and women sacrifice much to ensure that our great nation stays free. We owe a debt of gratitude to the soldiers that have paid the ultimate price for this cause, as well as for those who are blessed enough to return from the battlefield unscathed." Allen Boyd

We are so blessed to be living in this wonderful nation! Even though unfortunate circumstances have occurred this year I am truly blessed. Walking around this hospital reminds me everyday not to complain because life really isn't that bad. This year has probably been the toughest year on the books. Loosing both grandmas exactly 2 weeks to the day apart and this happening to Justin hasn't been easy. At the same time asking questions of why is this happening doesn't help either. The important part is that we are so blessed to be together as a family right now to get through this time together. God has blessed us in so many ways and being around this hospital makes me want to be a better person! There is so much love and inspiration here along with the true reality that freedom doesn't come free! We ask that in your prayers you continue to pray for Echo 1/12 as they finish up the last month and a half of deployment, and for all the military men and women. Please pray for all the wounded warriors and the families. Especially for the two new military men who arrived tonight. I am not sure I have talked about it in the blog, but three times a week the large ambulance arrives with the wounded warriors from Germany. Three times a week for the last 7 weeks we have been here the ambulance has arrived with wounded warriors who just flew in. It breaks our hearts over and over to see this, but the respect given to these men is like nothing ever seen before.

As the ambulance arrives there are multiple men and women service members waiting outside of the Emergency Room door with gurneys. One by one each branch of service (whether it be Marines, Army, Navy, etc..) will unload its own brother/sister wounded warrior from the ambulance. The wounded warrior is then escorted to their hospital room (whether it be ICU/CCU or the 4th floor) by there fellow service men/women. There is at least 3 people from each branch to escort there fellow wounded warrior. The respect and honor shown is like nothing ever seen before. We were told that this transfer takes place every time they were transferred from Afghanistan to Germany and Germany to Bethesda. Seeing this for the first time really touches the heart and brought tears to our eyes. It was comforting to know that Justin was never alone and was always surrounded by his brothers. 

Lots of love and thankfulness from Bethesda!  God Bless and Good Night! 


  1. This was such an amazing post. You and your family are so strong through this. Praying for you guys!

  2. I experienced Desert Shield and Desert Storm as a military wife and mother to 2 sons. Now that younger son is Capt. Matt Ritchie of Echo Btry in Afghanistan. And still your post today of Justin's courage and the immense respect and honor that wounded warriors receive each step of their journey, humbles me and brings me to tears. We will never be able to do enough for these young men and women! Thank you for the reminder! Laurie Ritchie

  3. Thank you for your post, I read about Justin's story on the Yahoo home page for the Daily Bulletin and clicked to find this great blog. Have already started lifting up Justin, the family, the other wounded soilders, and the remaining soilders as well in prayer. Tears came to my eyes as you explained that the wounded are never alone when they arrive, that they are surrounded by their men and women service members. That is amazing! God bless you guys in the name of Jesus. :-) - Kari Duffy

  4. I am from WA state and lost a nephew 1st Battalion 5th Marines on Easter this year over there. He was killed by stepping on an IED. I kind of hold in my heart that you are him and he really made it and theres people taking care of him somewhere out there. I'm so glad you survived and I'm glad you're with your family. you are in my thoughts and prayers