Adapt, Overcome And Drive Forward
June 3, 2007
The concept of Adapt and Overcome is a very common concept in the military, especially when thinking of the situations our troops in combat find themselves in on a daily basis. It is the ability of the men and women in our nation’s armed forces, to adapt themselves to any situation that they’re confronted with, improvise when things don’t go according to the textbook and overcome any hurdle in their path, to push on to success and victory. Adapt and overcome is a concept that our Wounded Warriors practice on a daily basis. It’s a concept that many civilians have no clue about, as they remain comfortable in their daily routines, in their daily lives, in their safe and secure coccoon.
Late last week, we took a 3 day trip to San Antonio. While there, we went to downtown San Antonio to the River Walk. For those of you who’ve never been to San Antonio, the River Walk is something that should definitely be on your list of places to visit. While on the River Walk, we had dinner and drinks at a restaurant called Dick’s Last Resort. Those of you familiar with San Antonio have heard of or visited Dick’s, where their motto is “We’re all a bunch of Dicks.” Seriously they have excellent food which is served by sarcastic and rude waiters and waitresses, their theme. We had a blast there and had the distinct privilege of meeting one of our Wounded Warriors, Luke, who embodies what it means to Adapt, Overcome and Drive Forward. I mention Dick’s, mainly because I wasn’t sure, with their restaurant theme, how Luke would be treated. I quickly saw that the entire staff at Dick’s was nothing short of grateful to Luke for his service to our Country. Not only was everything Luke ordered “on the house” but he left there will t-shirts and other memorabilia from Dick’s as well.
Luke is a 1st Cavalry Division soldier, a patient at Brooke Army Medical Center, who, though he wants to badly, won’t be going back to Iraq and will be soon medically discharged from the Army. Luke’s patrol was hit by an IED and he’s now paralyzed from the waist down. We visited with Luke for over an hour Wednesday night and I can honestly say, I walked away even more impressed with the personal strength and perseverance of our troops. Luke is dealing with an injury that many civilians would struggle to deal with. An injury in which most civilians would not be mentally capable of dealing with and would just give up. But Luke hasn’t given up and he’s dealing with his injuries amazingly well, despite the limitations that he’ll have to live with for the rest of his life.
Luke took quite a bit of time to talk with Marty’s son, Sean who will be leaving for basic training in just a few weeks. Not only did he share with Sean what to expect in Basic Training, but he took the time to really impart some wisdom to him. Sean of course was curious about Luke’s injury and Luke was very frank and open about what life ahead of him would be like. Luke’s words will stick with me for a long time.
He said, “I want to go back to Iraq so bad I can taste it. My boys are still there and I want to make sure that they all come home safe, but they won’t let me. I’m getting medically discharged, because my legs are paralyzed. I loved my job, loved the Army and I still feel that I should be over there protecting my boys and bringing them home. But I’ll be okay. Like they say in the Army, you just adapt, overcome and drive forward. I’m lucky. At least I’m alive and have most of my parts working.”