About A Hero.

Hey,

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Some weeks ago I was reading a Times supplement magazine and I came across the pictures that were this year’s World Press Photo competition prize winners.

Usually this a an enjoyable moment of admiration for someone else’s artistry and talent.

But not this time.

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One of the photos, which won first prize in the Contemporary Issues category, was taken by Eugene Richards of the USA.

It is of Jose Pequeno, who became a war casualty.

Eugene documented the story of the American war casualties returning from Iraq to their own homeland, being first shown in Spectrum last July, in a series of pictures…. ‘War Is Personal’

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When I first saw the picture it was like a hard visceral blow, you do not needs words when you see the damaged son held by a mother who’s heart is breaking.

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In the picture  you see Nelida Bagley lifting her son Jose up from his hospital bed as he lies passively against her heart.

This unfortunate 34 year old man lost half of his brain because of a grenade explosion while he was on patrol in Ramadi in his Humvee in 2006.

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For years his family fought for his survival against all of the odds but finally they were told that he needed to be put in a permanent nursing home.

They said no and began to fight to care for Jose themselves.

There were problems because there were rules in place that prevented them from being given the proper equipment to facilitate that happening.

They just kept doggedly fighting for the help that they needed, eventually managing to get the daily help, motorised hoist and other specialist items they needed.

More than $70,000 was collected as donations poured in to help him, resulting in him being able to leave hospital and be with his own dedicated family.

The ‘Injured Marines Semper Fi Fund’ and many local people and companies joined in a concerted effort to transform his Land O’Lakes home to accommodate him.

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The day I first saw the picture, I put it at my bedside to remind me to pray for him, as I truly do believe in miracles and in the power of love.

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It is only now that I have felt able to look up the details behind the heartbreaking image I saw.

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Surely we should have more gratitude towards our injured servicemen, who give everything they have to their country.

No family should see less than the very best help being given to their person in need.

Why must they fight for this at the very time they need all of their resources just to overcome their emotional devastation.

Why must they rely on the care and monetary aid of the friends and community around them.

What about those who have no one to care.

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It is the same in the Uk, and probably in other countries.

And it is a reason for shame.

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God Bless Them All.

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J.

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