Monday, August 23, 2010

My hero

As I pack my bag for the last leg of this trip to Afghanistan, my first back since being diagnosed, I think of all of the wounded warriors who have gone back to the fight. I remember a Marine named Spanky Gibson who I met in Anbar who was the first full leg amputee to redeploy. Then there is a person who is so near and dear to me, Lt. Dan Cnossen. Navy Seal. Lost both his legs to an IED almost exactly a year ago in Afghanistan. You've heard me speak of him. He is the one who when he came out of surgery after having both of his legs removed asked the visiting Admiral for hand grips to start strengthening his upper body. This is the video that his sister Leslie just sent me. He has already "run" his first marathon (not that everyday isn't one for him). These are his new legs. A SEAL recruiter once told me that when they look for the high school athletes that they want to reach out to, they ask the coaches, "don't send us the best athletes. Send us the most determined ones. The ones who get knocked down and get back up again and push themselves a little bit harder." Dan is the quintessential SEAL.