Thursday, July 31, 2008

Wounded Warrior, American Hero

Yesterday, once again, Taylor was given a gift. One that can't be found in any store or bought on line for any amount of money. She got to visit a wounded warrior, Joshua Hoffman.

I have sat and tried to think of ways to describe the visit so that it does justice to Joshua and what he has been through. There is no way to do that, other then to speak from the heart.

We didn't know what to expect, or how he would react to having a 'kid' there to visit him. We walked into the apartment and Josh was in the middle of the room with his special chair. Taylor came around to his side, he moved his eyes to focus in on her. I introduced myself first and he nodded, but moved his eyes back to Taylor. She got closer to his side and let out 'Nice to meet you Marine, my name is GySgt Taylor Batten, but that would be GUNNY to you son' Josh's whole face lit up!!!!

It was an incredible visit, because Josh can't speak, but yet, he speaks volumes. He was funny, animated, truthful and a smart ass! He does this through his eyes, face, head movements and his spirit and soul! We were there for 3 hours, but it didn't feel like it, time really flew by and I know that Taylor could have sat along side him all day long.

He got a kick out of her and her famous 'suck it up cupcake' line to the Sgt. she made drop and give her 20 and to sound off like he had a pair. He REALLY liked that.

I was able to tell Josh about Taylor and her health and the things she can't do because of it. I told him of the things she has done though BECAUSE of it. There was one profound moment between the 2 of them when talking about not being able to do things that you want....she told him it flat out sucked and he looked right at her and agreed with his whole being. I have a picture of the two together and it is one of my all time favorites. It is my favorite because here are two people with bodies that will not allow them to do what they want, what they desire. Yet, these two with damaged bodies, have the spirit that will NOT allow those bodies to make them anything less then what they are, warriors. Inspiration is all I kept thinking in watching them together.

You bet he wishes he wasn't in the condition he is in, just the same goes with Taylor. But, they both are taking what they have and they are making it work. They are making themselves be true, hard core, inspirations for all to follow.

They both have to work harder then the average person to do what everyone else takes for granted. They both face not what they thought their lives would be. They both struggle when it is hard to understand why those struggles were given to them. Yet, they both smiled, they both joked, they both love and they both are alive.

Josh has an amazing fiance, Heather. I was awestruck by her love for him. When we walked into that apartment, it was clear the minute we saw her speak to him and take care of him. She loved Josh how he was before and she loves him how he is now. So many people could learn so much from her and him being together. They are what love is about. I am so fortunate that Taylor and I got to spend a day with them and we plan on making a pest of ourselves and becoming a permanent fixture in their life.

I forgot to ask permission to post about how Josh was wounded and his story, if it is alright, I will post here for you all to know just how amazing his story is.

I am going to apologize to Josh right now, one of his pictures, his eyes are closed. I actually took the picture a couple of different times and each time, his eyes just didn't want to agree with the camera. I love the picture though because it captures one of his expressions and believe me when I say this, meeting him and seeing his expressions, left a life time IMPRESSION on Taylor.


Anonymous said...

You can tell by looking at the gleam in his eyes that he is "a character"...or as you said, "smart a**". Bravo to both of them!

(ps Tell the Gunny that the Cpl's barracks are still less than satisfactory. He leaves 0630 from here; will he have a field day between now and then? Check back for updates.) :)

GunnNutt said...

I LOVE this!!! Please tell us more about Josh and Heather (if he's OK with it, of course).

Gunny, you make me smile SOOO big!

Becky said...

I am glad y'all got to meet them! I felt the same way....although i seem to love all these vets i am meeting. I love your family as well :)

Anonymous said...

Did you see the story on WZZM 13 about the house that's being built for them near Grand Rapids? It's on their website (8/20/08) but I assume it was also on their broadcast.