Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Another update on 1st Sgt Brad Kasal

***UPDATE*** Today 1st Sgt Kasal met with his Doctor at Balboa and they discussed many options. The 1st Sgt has had the External Fixator Devise on his leg for 7 months. His bone needs at least 2 more months of "support", which the devise provides. The best option seems to be replacing the devise with a "plate" which would be inserted along the bone from just below the knee to just above the ankle, not interfering with the mobility of either joint. It is entirely possible that this could take place within 2 weeks.

Continue to pray for Brad as he considers the options and makes the difficult decisions.

Many of you readers seem to have some idea of the sense of humility which surrounds the 1st Sgt's devotion to the Corps and to his marines. He genuinely believes that the true "heros" of that day last November were the two young marines that pulled him from that building. For months 1st Sgt Kasal did not even know who they were, but he did meet them recently and expressed his deep gratitude to them. I asked Brad if they told him how frightened they were in that building. He said "they told me that they were so pumped (adrenaline I'm sure) that they never really gave it a thought". Brad went on to say "I was the one who was afraid for them, because I knew what was in that building, and how the enemy had a good line of sight on the room, and what they had to get through to get to me". These two young grunt marines impressed the 1st Sgt in a way they may never know.

While we were at the hospital, there was a Staff sergeant and a Sgt Major from Miramar waiting in the room. When Kasal's name was called over the loudspeaker I saw their heads turn to look for this larger than life marine. As we walked past them they gave an "Oorah 1st Sar'nt", and later sought him out in the hallway to give support and to meet a legend. I sat quietly as the 1st Sgt chatted with them and gave a few details as to the state of his recuperation. After we all moved on I was thinking how lucky I am to know Brad, but also how I would love to talk with those two young marine heros. They did such an incredibly heroic act that day in November 2004 in that house in the city of Fallujah, saving my friend so he could be at Balboa Hospital today telling his story. Maybe someday I will get to meet them. Their story is indeed worth telling.

You can see photos of the house dubbed "The House from Hell" and "Kasal's House" here. The photos were all taken by Lucian Read/World Picture News.