“I was thinking, The last thing I want to do is get in a wreck and lose another limb. I completely lost it and blew up at my father.
“Why did you do that? I can’t get injured again! Pull over. I’ll drive!” I screamed.
Dad is not the kind of person who would have ever taken that kind of behavior from me in the past, but I think he understood the paranoia. I’d asked him while I was in the hospital, “Did you ever think one of your kids would ever lose a limb?”
And he said, “No, it never crossed my mind. I was always more afraid I would lost another limb.”
It wasn’t until later that I realized how great it was of him that he kept his cool and understood where I was coming from. He just let me freak out and let me drive. I think in some ways it was the same kind of lesson he taught me as a child without ever saying a word. I watched him just get on with things with one arm. He never made a fuss about it. It was an example that growing up I didn’t know I’d need eventually.
So I got in the driver’s seat and we continued on our way. After a while we stopped at a gas station to stretch our legs and get some snacks. I grabbed a lemon-line Gatorade and Dad grabbed something to drink and we got back in the car. I turned the car on, so the air and the radio were going as I tried and tried to get my Gatorade bottle open, but the top was too big and I couldn’t quite get my fingers to grab it, hold it, and twist it open. My finger strength just wasn’t there yet. So I put it between my legs and tried to hold it still while I twisted the top. I heard the creak of release as I managed to break the seal of the plastic orange cap but my legs were squeezing the bottle so hard that the bright yellow liquid squirted all over me. “Crap!” I yelled. I heard my dad snicker. I turned to look at him and he smirked while holding a can of Coke in his hand.
“And that’s why I drink out of a can,” he declared with a smug grin. Click. Fizzzz. With one hand, Dad popped that can open and took a big slug of his soda.”


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