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The Long Road Home: One Step at a Time: A Doonesbury Book (Doonesbury Books)by G. B. Trudeau
by Senator John McCain, Arizona Republican
It has become a cliché to say that American soldiers take the greatest risks in our name and make the ultimate sacrifices for our country. But take a minute and think about it. When most of us go to work, a tough day on the Senator McCain job means a missed meeting or too many calls, maybe a difficult colleague or a terrible commute. When our men and women in uniform have a rough day, it can mean an exploded Humvee, the death of a dear friend, the loss of a limb or other grievous wound.
And yet in the many years I have spent among wounded soldiers, I know that their experiences are not merely heartrending ? each one is also an inspiration. Injuries deprive a solider of more than health alone, and though his life may change in an instant, the rebuilding process can take years. His wounds may render him dependent on doctors and family, they may strip him of all familiarity and leave him with a radically new way to live. But every time I speak with a wounded soldier, I am struck most by what wounds do not harm. The spirit and drive that urged our soldiers into uniform and into the fight never seem to wane. As these brave men and women struggle to heal, often in pain and depression, they nearly always express an undiminished desire to return to their comrades-in-arms and serve their country.
This is the story of thousands of American soldiers, and it is also the tale of B.D., the Doonesbury The Long Road Home character who loses his leg in an explosion near Fallujah. As he leaves Iraq and begins the long road of recovery at Walter Reed Medical Center, B.D.'s wife, daughter, and friend go to Fisher House ? the facility that has served as a "home away from home" for more than 65,000 military families across the country. Fisher Houses, located on the grounds of every major military medical center, enable family members to be close to the wounded during their hospitalization. As war veterans rebuild their bodies and their lives, the presence of their loved ones is absolutely invaluable.
In this book, Garry Trudeau tells the story of B.D. ? and of Fisher House ? and he does it very, very well. Biting but never cynical, and often wickedly funny, these comic strips will make you laugh, reflect, and ? in the end ? understand. Like B.D., the thousands of soldiers who have left their health or their limbs on the battlefield have done so in the service of all of us. These brave men and women astonish us all with their spirit. In sacrificing themselves, they sacrifice for us.
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