Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Letter to the President

Dear Mr. President-

I would like to thank you for your visit to Walter Reed Army Medical Center today. Here at Walter Reed we all understand that you have a very busy schedule and we really appreciate you taking the time to visit the wounded soldiers. However, there are a few problems with your visits that I would like to clear up.

Since October of 2005 my family has been serving you dutifully. My husband went to war and the rest of the family waited at home. We sent packages, rejoiced over phone calls, and endured many sleepless nights filled with worry. And we did this all for you and the war on terrorism. On December 19, 2006 my husband sacrificed an arm, a finger, and the use of his left hand for his country.

Since December 24, 2006 we have been at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. Our daily life now consists of learning how to live again. How to tie shoes, use silverware, write, shower, and be happy with a new self image. We spend hours in therapy. But when you visit the hospital, everything shuts down. We cannot walk to areas where we may have appointments, we can't look out windows, and we can barely leave our rooms. Our lives are put on hold for you. Why? Our lives have been changed forever by decisions that you have made. This is your opportunity to see what this war has done to our American families. We have given enough to you. Stop messing with our lives and just let us live. Let us move on.

I understand that everyday your life is at risk. But here at Walter Reed you are more likely to be shot by the guards at the front gate than by the soldiers that lost limbs for you. Be respectful to us and don't cut into our therapy.

-Josie Salzman


Johannah said...

very powerful.

ArmyGas said...

I just wanted to say thank you for your sacrifices and that I am sorry your road to recovery has been in disarray. Please tell your husband that I truly appreciate his (and your) sacrifice.

"Freedom is the sure possession of those alone who have the courage to defend it", keep making your voice heard.


Michael W. Bentley, CRNA

liberal army wife said...

yeah... like you needed him to come to the hosp. HE needed it to get the attention off the commutation of Libby's sentence. A good photo op of purple heart ceremonies. whoopdeedoo

Tell JR those of us back here in humid, mosquito-size-of-sparrow land... wish him well!



Tracy said...

Good point Josie.

FbL said...

LAW, I could be wrong, but I believe that in most cases the photos of his visits to the wounded are not made public (other than photos outside the facilities as he comes/goes). So, his reason for visiting has little to do with publicity or politics. It's what he does---on a VERY regular basis at a variety of facilities and usually with little media fanfare (photos of his visits with the wounded almost always come from the wounded themselves).

Josie, thanks for writing that enlightening post. I'd never thought about what a disruption the security measures for a presidential visit does to you guys. Nice closing paragraph!