Welcome to DC Military Living! Thank you for your or your loved one's service.
Let me start by telling you a little about myself. I am a single mother of five children and live in Parsippany, NJ. I have been raising my children alone for the last 13 years, after my ex, a former Marine, left the State. I am an attorney by trade, but I also have my elementary teaching certificate. Right now, I am looking for employment due to the events of the last ten months which will be discussed below.
Michael is 23 and finished his four years in the US Navy last July. He is currently looking into attending Rutgers after taking a little break. Kellina is 17 and a senior in high school. She is attending Morris County College next year. Ryan is 17 and a junior in high school. He has talked to the Marine Recruiter, and he is also considering the reserves or an ROTC program and attending college. Sean is 15 and a freshman in high school. He is planning on entering the Army after graduation. If we are involved in an active conflict, he wants to join the infantry. If we are not, he is planning on joining the motor pool as a mechanic, which is what he wants to do with his life.
My fourth child is the reason I have become so involved in DC military living. Derek is 22 years old and a SPC in the US Army. On July 23, 2011, I received the phone call that changed our lives forever. While securing a landing zone for another injured soldier, Derek met an IED. Actually, it was two. The first one misfired, and he was simply knocked on his butt. He was given the option of standing down, but the mission had to come first. He continued, and he returned to the US one week later as a result. In the process, he sustained several life altering injuries, such as left hip disarticulation (leg gone from the hip), right high AKA (above the knee amputation), right arm broken with nerves and tendons severed (limb salvage - arm has limited use), fractured pelvis, fractured skull, fractured jaw, three teeth knocked out, TBI, internal injuries, and approximately 7 infections that caused full blown sepsis.
When he returned, we did not know if he would survive. The doctors told us he was the sickest patient in the hospital. He was "in the woods" from July until November. Each day, we did not know what we would face, what challenge we would have to overcome, or whether he would survive the day. He had about 25 medical teams involved in his care over his seven month in patient stay.
He surprised several doctors with his will to live. He surprised his hand surgeon by getting some use of his hand back.
Currently, he is living at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center with his wonderful fiancee, Krystina. He is learning to walk with his new prosthetics. He is attending his appointments and committed to his recovery. The wedding is set for when Derek can walk down the aisle. He will dance with me at his wedding.
That's just a snap shot into my life. What doesn't kill us is supposed to make us stronger, right?
I hope you stick around this awesome new site! We have bloggers who will be discussing military life from a spouse's perspective, military life from a retired vet's perspective, discounts by a military wife, and the wounded warrior world by my friend, Jess, and me, myself and I! If you have any ideas for a topic, inbox me!