This letter was sent from Katie. Her husband, B.B. is a general at one of the army bases in Germany. Katie is a nurse Landstuhl army hospital. Hope yall enjoy it as much as I did.
I want to tell you all about today. Today was a defining moment for me; it ranks with my wedding day and the day Buck was born as a day so meaningful that I am filled with too much emotion to handle. B. B. and I went to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, one of the three Army hospitals left in Germany. As you all know this hospital is where almost all injured soldiers are brought from operations in the Middle East. We arrived there around
1:30, were briefed by the hospital commander about the patients we would see and then headed up to the second floor.
The first patient we saw had had his hand crushed. It was wrapped up in bandages as thick as a pillow but you could see the black fingers. They are trying to save it. He faces skin grafts and maybe worse if they can't save it. He was medivaced from Kuwait a week ago and two days ago his wife gave
birth to their second child in Weiden, Germany. His was anxious to see her and the baby, to get well and to head back to the front. He did not complain at all about his pain and had such a positive attitude.
The next fellow we saw was a marine who had been run over by a tank in the desert. Only the softness of the sand saved his life. His entire pelvic area was crushed, creating many urology nightmares. He has had a colostomy and
faces months of surgeries. The Docs believe he can fully recover, a miracle if you think about the tonnage that rolled over him. He was absolutely adorable. He was from Kansas and he and B. B. got into pheasant and deer hunting right away. His spirits are good and he kept trying to sit up tall
in the bed even though it was apparent he was in pain. He kept asking about his unit, "where are they?", "How close to Baghdad?". B. B. asked me to leave the room a couple of times so that he could talk top-secret stuff with this soldier.
The next fellow we saw was from Alabama. A bullet entered his lower abdomen and traveled up and exited through his back. He was on oxygen but pulled the
mask off and refused to put it back on. He wanted to tell B. B. that he had met him at Fort Knox when he was there for his initial training. He was 21 years old and had been married for one year. He was frantic to know about
his buddies, where they were, how they were doing. He said he had such guilt about leaving them. He looked at me as if he were deciding whether he should say something or not. Then he somehow raised himself up on an elbow, took B.
B.' s hand and said, Sir, when I got hit I want you to know that I took a couple of the sons of *****es down." His commitment and his focus were still there and all he can think of is getting well and rejoining his unit.
The last two guys were in Intensive Care. Their rooms, by request were side by side. The first one had no legs. He had stepped out of his track onto a
mine. He does not remember anything but the pain. He choked up when he told B. B., "Sir, what I did was stupid." B. B. assured him that "stupid" was thinking that he did anything wrong in a war where there was so much to think about and sleep was a rare commodity.
As he lay there in the desert, a medic ran up to him, stepped on a mine and lost a leg too. These were the guys who were side by side. The soldier who had lost both legs said, in response to B. B. asking him what he could do for him, "Sir, I am fine. I have everything I need. I have nothing to complain about."
Well, that was it for me. I just cried. I left the room but the soldier
asked me to come back. "Ma'am".don't cry for me. Let's pray for all who are carrying on". Even now I have to cry. I wear a Hooah pin that Patty Shinseki gave me and I took it off and gave it to him.
Today, for the first time ever, I was in the presence of real heroes,
indescribable bravery and I can't tell you how honored I am to have touched them. I held their hands and told them all how proud we and the nation are and that I love them. At the end of the visit I was totally wrung out and just wanted to get home and go in my room and be by myself and thank God for
these young men and women who are giving so much. My blood boils with the protests of the Hollywood elite whose easy and privileged lives exist because of these soldiers lying in that hospital. They have no idea how they hurt these men and women and their families with their rhetoric. Their
shallowness is sickening after being in the presence of true character and
One last thing I want to tell you. B. B. collected the names and numbers of all their parents and two wives and came back and called them all. I love that he did that. There is no one I know who loves soldiers more than he does and the soldiers are like dogs and children. You cannot fool them. They
know who really has them in their hearts.
Well, sorry for that soapbox soliloquy. It has been that kind of day. B. B. intends to visit weekly and I hope I am able to go with him every single time. They tell me that Katie Couric was there, setting up for broadcast from Ramstein, where Landstuhl Hospital is located. Glad I didn't run into her either!
Again, thank all of you for your concern. B. B. and I are fine. Continue to
pray for our military forces.
Mrs. Katie Bell "
Apr 11, '03
She is a true hero to me.
Apr 11, '03
Thanks for sharing, I really enjoyed that too
Apr 11, '03
That was very heart warming to hear that. I got such a blessing from it.
Apr 11, '03
yup, real letter sent to my husbands boss (hubby is active duty army, his boss is friends with the Bells. )
Apr 12, '03
*sniff* Very moving letter, nurse-in-boots