19 February 2010


Wounded veterans return, gain closure

Written by Sgt. Lindsey Bradford, United States Forces – Iraq
Tuesday, February 16, 2010 11:17

BAGHDAD - When eight combat veterans recently volunteered to return here, they knew they’d be interacting with troops, answering questions about their injuries, their experiences and their new lives as wounded warriors.

They were ready.

From Baghdad to Taji to Balad, Soldiers on the ground seemed to have the same question — what was the most frustrating part after they sustained their injuries. The answer was unanimous among the vets. Stay in contact with those who have been injured.

"As Soldiers, we have such a bond. Whether we've been together for six months or five years, it's a brotherhood; whether we've spilled blood together or not," said retired Capt. Ferris Butler, one of the wounded veterans who participated in Operation Proper Exit IV here from Jan. 31 through Feb. 6. "You have to follow up with those who have been injured. Follow up as friends, and keep that camaraderie."

Butler said that he and Sgt. 1st Class Michael Schlitz, who returned here for a second trip as a military mentor, were lucky because their unit had someone there for them throughout every step. Butler and Schlitz were serving with the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division when they were injured.

"When I got evacuated to Germany, there was a 10th Mountain liaison waiting for me. When I landed in the States, I had another liaison there," Butler said. "When Mike got hit, I knew about it right away. [Tenth] Mountain did a great job."...

Read more here.

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