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Happy 234th birthday, Army!

Posted by Richard on June 15, 2009

A belated Happy Birthday to the United States Army, the oldest of the uniformed services, which was born on June 14, 1775.

U.S. Army 234th birthday coin

As the coin indicates, the Secretary of the Army has designated 2009 as The Year of the NCO. As the son of an officer, I can attest to the fact that NCOs are what makes the Army work. I'm sure my dad would have agreed. 

The occasion merits an inspirational story about a soldier. If this one (HT: Mrs. Greyhawk) doesn't move you, you're not human: 

Even when half your skull is missing, life goes on.
For ex-soldier Erik Castillo, gravely wounded by mortar fire in Iraq in 2004, life is going better than expected.
Five years have passed since he woke up drooling and paralyzed in an Army hospital with a coconut-sized hole in his cranium — an injury from which doctors said he would never fully recover.
The road back to some sort of normalcy has been rife with pain and indignity. He's been stared at by strangers, coped with countless surgeries and infections, and battled rage, self-pity and depression.
Through it all, he kept hoping he could reach a point where life seemed worth living again.
Finally, he has.
"I'm happy with who I am now," said Castillo, 25, a 2001 graduate of Rio Rico High School who now lives in Tucson.
Today, Castillo can walk unassisted — a feat that took more than three years to achieve. He owns a house and plans to go to college next year after more surgery later this year to repair his right eye socket and realign a droopy eye.
"I'm making the best of my life," he said. "No matter what, I'm not going to sit around and complain about my suffering."
Doctors say his progress represents a triumph of determination over despair, something that isn't unusual among wounded veterans — even those as severely injured as Castillo.
Damn, we've got some amazing young people in this country. Read the whole thing
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