Post by Aubrey Hyatt written Sept. 2010
As our plane landed in San Antonio, Texas we were greeted by Jason’s liason, Monty Mitchell. We were finally on our way to see Jason after waiting five long days after his accident in Afghanistan. It was the day after Valentines day 2009. We were told that he had all ready had a few surgeries and had been flown from Afghanistan to Germany to Virginia and then to Texas where he would be going through many more surgeries to save his hand.
When we finally arrived to to Brooke Army Medical Center it was such an amazing and emotional feeling to be able to give him big hug and see him smile, knowing that he was going to be okay but with a long road ahead of him! He looked very exhausted but so happy to see us. Both of his eyes were black and blue, the whites in his eyes were full of blood, the bridge of his nose was cut, he had bruises all over his body, his left arm was all wrapped up, it wasn’t until the doctor came in and unwrapped it did i know just how bad it was.
Within days of getting to the hospital he was beginning the first of his many surgeries, some that were only supposed to take a couple hours took 6 and 8 long hours. Waiting in the waiting room was so nerve racking because we didn’t know what was going on or what was taking so long. I could only assume that things were not going as planned but hoping that he would still have his hand when the surgery was complete. Some surgeries went well and some did not. The recovery after the surgeries were hard, he had to be hooked up to an evacuation suction to keep the wound clean and drained and the filters needed changing all the time. He was in so much pain, just to get him up to go to the bathroom was so painful for him. The areas where they had taken the skin from his leg for the skin graft would bleed like crazy as he walked , he had every limb operated on except for his right arm. It was extremely hard to see him in so much pain, words can’t describe the feelings that i had while being there seeing and someone i love go through so much pain and emotional struggle.
Jason spent weeks in his room not able to go out of his floor level. I will never forget the first time he was able to go out of his room and for a walk. We walked down to one of the lower levels of the hospital where they had a cafeteria, as we walked down by the store, we saw a soldier sitting there with his wife in a hospital gown and it was the first burn patient we had seen since we had been at the hospital (even though the burn unit was on the same floor as Jason’s room). This man had burns throughout most of his body, his ears were gone, his face unrecognizable, it was a different feeling seeing someone injured so badly. I did not realize how badly some of our soldiers are burned till I saw it first hand. The road side bombs are injuring and taking so many of our soldiers lives. We didn’t stay down there to eat, it was too much for Jason and I to see.
Throughout the time we spent there we would see this soldier coming and going to doctors appointments, he was staying in the fisher house where we stayed after jason had been released from the hospital. The Fisher house is a place just across the street where the military puts up the injured soldiers and there families while recovering. Every time we saw him he looked better and better, I noticed that he had been having many reconstuctive surgeries, one of the last times i saw him he had ears, and a new lower lip and the shape of his eyes looked better and better. These soldiers like this one and like Jason sacrifice so much for us and for our country and they are not thanked enough or taken care of enough, and i want to give back as much as i can to help these men and women that fight for our country.
I have watched Jason go through so much this past year and a half, so much pain and so many surgeries with more to come, i am so proud of him and what he has done for me and for my country, he has been so strong and stayed so positive through this very long and hard road to recovery, not ever thinking of himself, but so worried about all the other soldiers out there that are in need of the smallest things and working so hard to get Afflicted War Heroes up and running so we can help these soldiers out as soon as possible, i love my country and am so very grateful that Jason is home and healing and that we have men and women out there that are willing to sacrifice so much and fight for my freedom. I can’t wait to go back to Texas to personally deliver care packages to the injured, it will be an unforgettable and amazing experience.