Most of the G.I.’s I met still had that great morale and were not only glad to be alive—but willing to go back once they were better. I met a twenty-one year-old gentlemen, missing one foot. He assured me he would be fine once his prosthesis was on and he had all intentions of going right back to Iraq to finish the job he ad started and save his country from terrorism. His last words to me before I left were “Hey Adrienne—we’re gonna get ‘em.”
I met a female troop in her early thirties. Her hand had been blown off. She missed her husband and five year old daughter. We had a long talk and she assured me she was proud to have served her country and she held me in her one arm as I cried. I assured her we appreciated her and were grateful she was alive. After a longer chat, the bottom line is I have adopted her. Yep, she’s going to visit my family at our home. I’m planning on keeping a lifetime friendship with her and while she is at Walter Reed she has an open invitation for us to provide some family life for her. My family and I are looking forward to her first visit with us.
I’d like to take this opportunity to say that we civilians, at home with the luxury of seeing and speaking to our families every day, should count our blessings. I listen to the news every day and when I hear the number of soldiers wounded and killed while protecting us, it saddens me beyond words. But when I would hear wounded, I had never associated the word or understood it until I actually saw the wounds. They are devastating and heart wrenching.
Since May of 2002, I have done book signings all over the country. I have autographed thousands of copies of Departures, Connecting, Lust Lies and Two Wives, The Bitch Tried to Steal My Husband's Body and Arrivals and met many people across the United States. September 25, 2004 was the most important book signing I have ever done and I plan to return to Walter Reed. I had originally self published Departures in May of 2002. I was quickly acquired by Penguin NAL and Departures was revised and released September 7, 2004. I had the option of debuting the book at Barnes and Noble, Jenkintown, Pennsylvania immediately after it’s re-release. I declined. The first book I autographed, I wanted to sign at Walter Reed—with my heroes.
I extend my warmest regards to the troops and their families and wish them well. I also thank them for their daily sacrifices and their protection of myself, my family and my country.
Author of Departures, Connecting,
The Bitch Tried to Steal My Husband’s Body, Lust, Lies and Two Wives and Arrivals
P.S. Every troop I met on September 25 has a way to contact me. Yep—you know they have my home telephone number, E-mail and website. You know what—they loved the fact that I was “touchable, totally absent an ego and willing to stay in tuned with them to see how they were getting along.