“As time passed, I learned more and more about the culture that comes with beign an injured veteran. There are a lot of really wonderful people and organizations to help veterans returning from war. Right about the time I started to really move forward in my recovery, two women came by and introduced themselves. They explained that they raise money to help injured veterans with various needs. They asked if there was anything I or my family needed. I said, “No thank you, I’m all good.” But my sisters piped up and said, “He needs clothes. He doesn’t have anything.” The women smiled and said they’d be back. They came back with some sweatpants and a shirt and then announced that they were taking us to the mall. This would be my first time leaving the campus of Walter Reed, my first real trip out of the hospital. We were all excited. Leaving the hospital was a big step for me but my poor sisters had been cooped up much of the time with me in there as well. I was a little nervous, but I owed it to them to push aside my anxiety.
We decided that the electric wheelchair would be too heavy and too much trouble to get in and out of the car, so Jennifer wheeled me down to the front door where the ladies were waiting in their car. With very little assistance, Jennifer was able to get me for that chair into the car and we were off to the mall. When we arrived, my sisters pulled the wheelchair out of the trunk and placed it next to the car door. They opened the door and Jennifer leaned down and with one swift motion lifted me up like a nearly weightless child and placed me in the chair. I laughed it off.
“My sister’s strong. She’s really strong,” I boasted on her behalf.
Sara, Katherine, and Jennifer were laughing the whole time because I didn’t realize how scrawny I was, how much weight I had lost. Jennifer could pick me up with no problem because I practically weighed nothing at all. But through the laughter, I felt a pang of guilt. I am the brother of three sisters. It was my job to protect and care for them. Yet here I was, barely able to take care of myself.”


Noah Galloway, Living with No Excuses: The Remarkable Rebirth of an American Soldier
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