Got Broadband? You Need to Watch This.

I just spent the last two hours watching C-Span. The show was interviews with amputee soldiers currently undergoing rehabilitation at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

Damn, but we have some fine people in our military.

C-Span has two clips from that show available. They are Real Media files, so you’ll need the latest version of RealPlayer. The links are Conversations with individual wounded soldiers – Part I and Conversations with individual wounded soldiers – Part II. Each piece runs a bit over 30 minutes.

Part I is an interview with Army Cpl. Michael Oreskovic, 23, who was with the first Stryker Brigade assigned to Iraq. He lost his left arm above the elbow to a car bomb on his last mission before he was scheduled to rotate home. It was the second time he was wounded in theater. He wants to go back to active duty. Cpl. Oreskovic is a soldier. He studies military history because it makes him a better soldier.

Part II is an interview with Maj. Tammy Duckworth, 36, of the Illinois National Guard, and her husband Capt. Brian Bowlsbey. Maj. Duckworth is a Blackhawk driver, her husband is active duty Army. Maj. Duckworth lost both legs, one below the knee and one very high on the thigh, and suffered severe wounds to her right arm when her Blackhawk came under intense ground fire. An RPG round penetrated the chin bubble and detonated essentially between her knees. She plans on returning to flight status. I think she’ll do it, too. Listen to her description of what happened when her aircraft was hit. In fact, while you’re listening to the interview, bear this in mind: Maj. Duckworth attended the funeral for her father at Arlington National Cemetery the day before this interview took place. She and her father are almost certainly a rarety – a father-daughter pair who share purple heart awards.

These people make me feel both proud, and unworthy.

In both pieces the soldiers spoke about the Fisher House charity that provides housing to military families who are undergoing outpatient rehabilitation. I think I’ll be making a donation to this organization. You might look into it, too.

UPDATE: The entire three-hour program is available here.

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