Reprinted with permission from Doug Kutilek’s As I See It, with some editing. AISI is sent free to all who request it firstname.lastname@example.org.
It was 4:00 AM on March 5, 2010. The ringing telephone startled us awake from deep sleep. A call at such an hour, while not common, is regularly someone from the dialysis clinic that my wife Naomi administrates, reporting a problem with equipment as they prepare to open the facility for the day.
But the voice was that of our Marine Captain son Matthew, who had been in Afghanistan since early last October. Seeming a bit groggy, or perhaps weary (we would soon be able to tell which), his first words were, “I’m okay. I just got out of surgery. I’ve been shot in the leg.” He had our full attention. He went on to say that he had been on a dismounted patrol in hot pursuit of Taliban fighters, and had taken a single rifle round in the right leg, in the shin. He passed the phone on to a nurse who briefly detailed his injuries and assured us that he would recover. He was soon to be flown out from Camp Dwyer, where he received the initial treatment, to a larger base for further care.