Wednesday, February 3, 2010

We should all be like Mylyn...

Ever since I got a normal, 9-5 job, I've had Netflix. I wanted to catch up on all the TV I missed while working 80-hour weeks. Consequently my queue is constantly, like, 27 titles long. My current rotation is Eureka, NCIS and JAG.

Don't judge.

Anyway, one of the current plot lines on JAG is a character becoming an amputee after stepping on a land mine. The season I'm on is set in 2002, so obviously, they're factoring in the war in Afghanistan. The show tried to be honest but sympathetic to the Navy, and this storyline is no different. While the writers picked the most good-humored character to have this happen to, it did explore the ramifications on his career, on his marriage and with his friends. I think sometimes televised war numbs you a little. It's good to be reminded those who are injured are people, not statistics.

The Journal Gazette - Times Courier out of Illinois had a story on an Iraq war veteran's (and double amputee) new home, built by dozens of volunteers from "Homes for our Troops" and "StormHawk Construction." National Guard Sgt. Cameron Crouch suffered his injuries after falling from a roof in Iraq onto marble floors. Presumably, he was in one of Saddam Hussein's palaces. Crouch fell 70 feet and required 25 surgeries. Later this year he is set to marry his fiancee Christy.

Risks for injury do not just occur on the battlefield. EJ Poplawski was competing in the 10th annual US Telemark Extreme Freeskiing Championships when his last descent over a cliff broke one of his skis, according to the Ski Channel. He subsequently hit a tree and shattered his knee. Poplawski didn't get to the hospital quickly enough to save his lower leg. But that didn't stop him from continuing to ski and race. He recently competed in the Winter X Games and tours the country as a motivational speaker.

This next little girl should motivate all of us. One night, three year-old Mylyn Beakley, herself an amputee, saw Haitian children on TV who had also lost legs, and ran into her bedroom. The little girl retrieved a prosthetic leg she had grown out of and told her mother she wanted "to give it to Haiti." The hug she gives one of the staffers at the 1:10 mark in the NBC video is precious.

(Photo courtesy of The Journal Gazette - Times Courier)

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