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[This is a revised post from last year]
Ok nugget, kick the tires, light the fires, select Zone 5, tag the bogey but don’t get in a furball. Don’t boresight, check six, bingo to Mom — Got it?
Air Force needs to get hands on throttle , and get their birds in the air. This is starting to turn into a Charlie Foxtrot! If it weren't for the Coast Guard, we'd be in last place. This is no time for complacency.
Maybe a little team spirit is in order.
Via email from a USAF Cadets on exchange at West Point
Now that's the spirit.
As you can see here, Army is definitely the team to beat, they've got quite a lead. Navy isn't far behind, and the Marines seems to be staying afloat but as you can see the Air Force hasn't even got off the ground. And the poor Coast Guard seem to be dead in the water.
Need some inspiration? Meet TSgt Israel Del Toro - (VIDEO)
His Air Force spirit has not wavered and he has become an advocate for other burn victims like himself. Read more about Del Toro below the fold.
Sgt. Israel Del Toro continues talking to Airmen about his experiences in Afghanistan even as he struggles to recover from burns he received in combat.
The tactical air controller is fighting to stay in uniform so he can continue serving his country. The sergeant suffered severe burns over 80 percent of his body while on a combat patrol in December 2005.
After an improvised explosive device nearly killed him, it was three months before he had his next memory -- waking up at San Antonio's Brooke Army Medical Center. Burns and scars covered his body.
He awoke in intensive care in the burn treatment unit of Brooke Army medical Center in San Antonio. Burns covered 80 percent of his body. His wife was there and he wanted to hug her, but Carman was only able to squeeze a toe. She told him president Bush had been there to see him. Dressed in medical gloves and booties, stayed with him for about twenty minutes, thanking him for his valor. Israel remembered none of it.
"I could have been bitter and depressed," the sergeant said. "And at times I was. I mean, who wouldn't be?" But he vowed not to give up. He wanted to get better for his family and to get back into uniform. It took him until June 2006 to earn a release from the medical center, but that was nearly eight months earlier than doctors predicted.
Since then, Sergeant Del Toro has been touring Air Force bases, speaking to Airmen about the importance of being prepared for deployments. And he talks to them about being responsible Airmen and noncommissioned officers. He even took part in a panel that focused on what type of combat award the Air Force should institute.
Sergeant Del Toro's recovery has not been easy, but his drive to be with his family and to get back into the Air Force has made it faster.
His recovery is beating all of the odds and medical professionals and physical trainers are amazed at the pace And extent of his recovery. He lost his face, one hand and most of the fingers of the other hand. His vision in both eyes has been weakened.
He loves the Air Force and wants to continue his fifteen-year career with the Air Force. He is working desperately toward that goal.
“I’m not very PC [politically correct],” Del Toro explained. And, considering what he has gone through, he deserves wide latitude. Del Toro doesn’t have much patience for opponents of the war. “We always hear these guys, like Spike Lee, going ‘blah, blah, blah’ about the war. But none of them ever came to see me. President George Bush came to see me, though. And he spent 20 minutes in the room with me in 98 degree heat,” Del Toro said. The burn unit at Brooke Army Medical Center is kept at 98 degrees.
“A lot of times, the media focuses on guys who passed away,” Del Toro said. “We [who sustained severe injuries] get passed over to the side. We’re trying to have a life. Look, this sucks,” Del Toro said explaining how he felt about his situation.
Del Toro wants to remain in the Air Force on active duty. He said he truly loves his job. If he cannot recover well enough to go back to duty, he hopes to serve the Air Force in civil service.
In the meantime, Del Toro is taking life one day at a time and approaches his therapy and recovery with a very positive attitude that helped him excel in sports and his profession before his injuries.
Del Toro concludes by quoting Lou Gehrig: “I might have had a tough break, but I have an awful lot to live for.” He added, “And I am honored to have worked with the finest people in the World.”
In his honor...
Soldiers' Angels is a non-profit (point out tax deduction, matching funds), and Valour-IT has ZERO overhead. IRS proof: http://soldiersangels.org/index.php?page=irs-non-profit-status
Regardless on team chosen, it all goes in the same "pot,".
Though things are looking up in Iraq, the need amongst the wounded is still great (about 30 laptops a month)
I like the first picture!!
Can we get that blown up to full page size? LOLPosted by Holly Aho at November 2, 2007 08:05 PM
If that doesn't touch some hearts and some wallets, nothing will. I hope the AF can find a job for him in which he can feel useful. God Bless Him!Posted by MissBirdlegs in AL at November 2, 2007 08:56 PM
He IS one of the finest men in this whole world. He and his family are in my thoughts and prayers.Posted by Maggie45 at November 3, 2007 01:16 AM
Geez...it's getting so bad for you, I'm breaking down and begging my uncle (USAF (Ret)) to come by and help you out...After that, I'll email the retired O-6 KC-135 guy, too...Posted by xformed at November 3, 2007 03:11 AM
I am praying that this man get's well and has a good long life. If he wants to go back in the AF it will be hard. I wish him and his family the best of luck! I am sure that his wife wishes that he would stay home but...he has to live his dream. God BlessPosted by Vickie at November 4, 2007 01:37 AM Hide Comments | Show/Add Comments in Popup Window(5) | (Note: You must refresh main page to view newly posted comments here)