By Debbie Gregory.
What makes America Great?
America was forged by unique men and women who were seeking a new way of life. Our country was founded on the desire to prosper and be free; life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Now, some 230+ years later, those desires are still evident in the people who call the United States home.
Because of the freedoms and successes we enjoy, there are those who try to destroy what we hold dear. This was evident on 9/11, and again in Boston at the end of the 2013 Boston Marathon.
Those who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan know the devastation that IEDs cause, but most civilians and first responders have never seen that level of devastation. Yet there they were, alongside soldiers from the Massachusetts Army National Guard Soldiers, running directly towards the scene of the first explosion to help rescue victims.
1st Lt. Steve Fiola, 1st Sgt. Bernard Madore and Staff Sgt. Mark Welch followed their instincts and training without hesitation. Lt. Fiola helped a man whose clothing was still smoldering after the blast. Sgt. Madore jumped in to triage mode, and then watched over a young boy with a compound fracture to his leg. Sgt. Welch helped find cloths and water to treat the wounded. They continued to treat the wounded until medical personnel moved the injured out of the area. Sgt. Madore recalled similar experiences in Iraq. “I do remember looking down and going, ‘Oh, God, we can’t deal with this,'” Madore said. “And then right back to action — fortunately. So I stood fast, and I’m proud of that, because it got kind of real for a second.”
Servicemembers who are still recovering from injuries sustained in war are inspiring those who were injured in Boston. They can relate to the devastation aftermath of an explosion and the emotional and physical pain of lost limbs. Army Sgt. Christopher Haley, who is still recovering, advises the severely wounded to “keep their heads up and don’t quit”.
Wounded warriors from Iraq and Afghanistan are refusing to give in and feel sorry for themselves. Sgt. Jordan Sisco was devastated when he lost his legs. Sgt. Sisco was down, but he wasn’t out. He found support through his family and friends, and received excellent care at the outpatient rehabilitation center, Center for the Intrepid, Brooke Army Medical Center.
So while their instincts told them to run away, all of these people ran towards danger to help the injured. The spirit of working together towards a common goal and the greater good, that’s what makes America great.