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Dawn Patrol will be a little late this morning. I've been busy visiting a certain soldier.
Before you can visit a soldier you have to know their name and their birthday. At least that was what I was told. I of course knew his name but didn't have a clue what his birthdate was, but I thought I'd try anyway. I got to ICU and asked where Chuck Ziegenfuss was. Immediately, I had three people say Who are you. "I'm a friend, Mrs Greyhawk". A man passing out quilts to our wounded, was one of the three people, he says, "he's over here". The other two people were women, nurses I presume and were a little more thourough. One of them asks Chuck about me and she says "he doesn't know who you are." I'm humbled quickly, not that I think everyone knows who I am, but I thought and hoped one of my Ring members would. Now I was worried they weren't going to let me see him, then the other woman who was his nurse, and a damn fine nurse according to him, waved me in, and said come on in.
I introduced myself and then said "from Mudville". He looked at me in a quizzedly manner. Now I'm thinking, shit! he doesn't read Mudville, of course he doesn't read Mudville, he's been too damn busy fighting a war. But he relieved me of my stress when he said " OH, the Mudville Gazette". Then I asked the stupidest question, " How you doin, Chuck? " He says, "well I lost my left pinky and my ..., how are you?" Needless to say I was at a loss for words and thought, is he being his humorous self or is he serious? I'll leave that for him to blog about one way or another.
I proceeded to tell him that he has quite a following now. He said his wife, Carren told him that there were hundreds, even thousands of supporters. I informed him who all had linked him and that visits were in the tens of thousands. He was quite surprised and happy to hear that.
He remembers quite a bit of what happened. As he told me all the details which I'll leave for him to blog about I realized I was standing in front of a true hero, however I held back calling him the Hero I knew him to be because my gut feeling told me he would reject the label. Instead I just help him with a sip of water.
Something he did ask me to blog about was CPT Jason Spencer, Chuck's XO. Because Chuck was wearing heavy Kevlar armor, he went bottoms up in the canal, and was drowning, Jason dove into the canal to save him, only to find himself in the same predicament as Chuck and almost drowning himself, but he managed to muscle himself upward to then help pull Chuck ashore. This man is a hero and Chuck wanted me to spread the word on this.
The gurney arrived to transfer him to Walter Reed Medical, that was my cue that it was time for me to leave. He asked me if I had a camera, which unfortunately mine was dead, so the answer was "no". He wanted me to take his picture Note to self: always have camera charged. I did however, have for him a copy of "Heart of a Soldier", a book about a hero Rick Rescorla, autographed by Mrs Rescorla. Chuck was familiar with his story.
How did he look?, you may wonder. He was in good spirits. He has a black eye. His face is scraped pretty good, but nothing a bag over the head couldn't cure, I told him in jest. He had some difficulty in hearing me, which I hope isn't permanent. He said he will need some skin graft on his legs and probably more work on his left arm. Both arms were in a cast up to his shoulders. His thumb is still up in the air (no pun intended). It looked pink to me so I know that's a good sign, but time will tell and I'm sure Chuck will when he's able to blog again. I told him a pencil between the teeth might work but He said he wasn't sure what to blog about now. I asked, "how about the healing process?" There are many that would like to know your progress. I got the feeling that, as much as he wanted to go home to his family, he was somewhat wanting to be back with his men. But if any of you have read his blog that should not suprise you.
He seemed in good hands, the hospital was very nice and his nurse was looking out for him and making sure his needs were met. He had a quilt to keep him warm while he traveled and has a family waiting for him when he arrives at Walter Reed Army Medical center.
I do hope he continues to blog whether it's about the war, or about healing or about life in general, he has a talent that should not be wasted.
In the meantime, Carren seems to be able to blog rather well. Here's her latest update on Chuck.
Soldier's Angel, Holly Aho has more here
Thank you so much Mrs. G.!!!!! It's great to hear 1st person that Chuck is going to be OK.Posted by LynnGunn at June 24, 2005 03:08 PM
Thanks for the update.
I really appreciate what you and the mr. are doing to spread the word about what our armed forces are accomplishing every day and I'm glad that Chuck is doing better than can be expected.
Keep up the good work.Posted by DeeJay at June 24, 2005 03:17 PM
I agree, i hope he continues to blog... about anything! And thank you for taking the time to visit, and report. My prayers are with him.Posted by Greg at June 24, 2005 04:08 PM
Great that you were able to see Chuck, Mrs. G.! Thanks for the update!Posted by MaryAnn at June 24, 2005 04:43 PM
Thank you Mrs. Hawk
Mrs. G - That is so awesome! It's wonderful that you were able to visit with Chuck, and thanks for sharing the update with us. :-)Posted by Barb at June 24, 2005 06:18 PM
Thanks Mrs GH. I wondered if you or Mr GH would be able to travel to Landsthul (sp?) to visit him. I'm sure he was surprised to see you.Posted by Grannylu at June 24, 2005 07:21 PM
Oh wow... that is SO AWESOME! I can't believe they let you in to see him- how cool!
And man.. what a story he has to tell. Carren will have to write it up for him, seeing as of how he's in double casts.
Thanks for the in-person update. I'll be sure to link back.Posted by AFSister at June 24, 2005 08:08 PM
Mrs G - you're the best. Thanks so much for seeing Chuck and letting us know how he's doing. I'll bet Chuck won't forget your visit either.Posted by Toni at June 24, 2005 10:19 PM
Thanks for being able to go by and let him know that he has a lot of people pulling for him.
Thanks for the update Mrs. G. Bless you and Mr. G. for all you do for our troops. I wish Chuck and his family the best and speedy recovery for Chuck.Posted by devildog6771 at June 27, 2005 01:40 PM
So now we are in secret talks. Well, they aren't so secret if the media is blabbing it all over the place. Next week the Sunnis, who are in these secret talks, will be murdered by 'the insurgency'. You ever notice how the attacks pick up after there is a report that the insurgent's attacks are diminishing. I would like the news media to shut up, when it comes to somethings concerning Iraq.Posted by A Military Mom at June 27, 2005 03:33 PM
Thanks for getting in there to visit him....and for the update.Posted by ArmyWifeToddlerMom at June 27, 2005 03:39 PM
Mrs. G - It is so wonderful that you were able to visit Chuck, even if he was unclear on who you were at first! Thanks for the update and the clarification.Posted by Barb at June 27, 2005 08:11 PM
Well, thanks for checking up on him!
:-)Posted by Patrick Chester at June 28, 2005 04:39 AM Hide Comments | Show/Add Comments in Popup Window(15) | (Note: You must refresh main page to view newly posted comments here)