Walking Back On the Battlefield... lcpl ret. sal gonzalez

Transit Station Manas, Kyrgyzstan-  Each year over 600 thousand troops transition either down into the fight in Afghanistan or cycle back home through this United States Air Force run facility.  

American300's Robi Powers had little doubt that Armed Forces Entertainment and American300's special guests John Bates, Tim Howard, Spanky Gibson and Sal Gonzalez, all wounded USMC Marine Warriors would run into a Marine or two while visiting the base...

... to have several of the wounded warrior Marines not only meet Marines, but hook up with former battle buddies on day one of the Armed Forces Entertainment 'Leathernecks Tour'  wasn't exactly expected.

What was expected was that the special guests put together by American300 would connect with troops here and share their amazing stories or recovery...

In 2004, Sal 'Gonzo' Gonzalez was rocked by an I.E.D., not only was he badly wounded, but the life of his Lieutenant was taken during the explosion that ultimately caused the amputation of Sal's left leg just below the knee.   For Sal the journey back to the states from the front lines was spent in a comma "I remember waking up in a hospital bed, surrounded by my family... not having a clue how I got there" reflected Sal to a group of Marines from the 2nd Battalion 9 Regiment this evening "I remember screaming... 'how'd you all get to Iraq' ... and then 'where's my rifle!"

Sal had flown not only out of country but, all the way back to Walter Reed Hospital completely knocked out.

Today, Sal got to not only shake hands and share stories with today's legions of service, but he got to take one small step closer to his own personal recovery process "Sal flew out and never got the kind of closure that a warrior wants so much" said Spanky Gibson, a fellow battle field amputee... Spanky's caused by enemy rifle fire "... for Gonzo to be able to walk back onto the fields of conflict is huge... it provides and invaluable ingredient to further recovery, further closure."

The Leathernecks Tour is the second in a series American300 calls 'Profiles in Extreme Courage' and will offer Sal and the other wounded warriors plenty of opportunities to share their own personal stories of adaptation and overcoming the odds... as well as allow them to listen to and share with today's Armed Forces Members serving in the battle against terror.

Today was a great day not only for Gonzo, but for our nation... we only wish we could do more tours like this...  stay with us as we continue the journey... a journey for Lance Corporal Gonzalez that started the day he awoke from a comma...



For more on the Department of Defense office 'Armed Forces Entertainment' visit:

American300 is an all volunteer veteran run, active duty and civilian supported nonprofit organization with a mission of increasing the resiliency of our Armed Forces Members, their Families and the areas in which they live and operate. No federal endorsement of sponsors or nonprofit is ever intended. American300 501(c)3 with offices in Cleveland, Ohio and Steamboat Springs, CO    For more information contact: robpowersusa (@) aol.com  

No comments:

Post a Comment