As I travel life’s road

Today I went to The Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington DC. Inside  the elevator I saw this very young soldier, only 24, limbs almost cut up to his thighs, without arms, and without one eye. The left arm was cut just below the elbow and a prosthetic arm was in placed, while the other one was cut almost to the armpit. The prosthetic arm, he used to feed himself, move his chair around and do his private thing in the bathroom. When I saw him in the elevator, I wanted to cry aloud.The ravages of war, that few people really know about. I have been to this Hospital several times and I have seen soldiers, mutilated, yet living.

I felt so small, when I saw this man today. I was told he was hit by a bomb in Iraq. The only one surviving man so far in this war, hit by bomb with out both arms and both legs and without one eye.

You may say life is unfair. Destiny? Is this his destiny? If this has happened to me, just the thought of it, makes me feel half dead.

I had my own share of tough times, but nothing compared to what I saw today. The young soldier seemed so small in his wheel chair, that other than the torso, it was just the movement of his head that seemed to make contact with the world around him.

I remember when I was a fresh graduate in college and the family was in great struggle. It was martial law time and the food and jobs  were scarce. Even the company that my father worked for, though not sequestered by the government, still was in great distress.

Rice a basic commodity, was rationed. Salaries were not paid in full because there was not enough cash available in the bank.

It was New Year’s Day. January 1. Some neighbors were able to celebrate the event of the night before. We had a pig in our backyard that my mother used to keep. We fed her with the left over foods thrown by our nearest neighbor. We kept a plastic container in their outside kitchen for collection every morning.

That morning, my mother saw a freshly thrown carcass of a roasted pig in one of the plastic containers for left overs from one of our neighbors. She left the neighbor’s kitchen with a smile on her lips. The night before, we celebrated New Year’s Eve, with a big bottle of Coca Cola and a pack of bread.

We woke up with a delicious smell coming from the kitchen. My mother, instead of feeding the pig with the carcass of a roasted pig that came from the plastic container from our neighbor’s kitchen, she  washed it and cut it into nice little pieces, put in some sweet smelling herbs that grew in our backyard and presto, we had a breakfast so good that we have not tasted for a long time.

Despite the good smell of the food, I felt small that morning. My spirit was so low and I really felt sorry for myself and for my family, that I thought we were the lowly creatures in earth eating the left overs of the neighbors. Just how I felt for the soldier today, I wanted to cry aloud then.

But it did not take long. It was one of those crisis in our lives that fueled me to strive even more. Not too long, I got a good job, and that incident became the ” family joke” that took center stage whenever there was a gathering of some sort in the household.

This is just one of those milestones in my life that will never be forgotten. I will find it hard to forget, not because I have suffered from it, but because I rose above it.

But how one can rise in a situation where there is no more. I have heard that this young soldier will get a Medical Aid/Insurance the best that the US Army can give. All available Therapies will be accorded to him. Monitary values are not far, for sure.

One thing is also sure, all those material things available to him will not make his arms grow, nor his legs nor his one eye. And he knows this.

Yet, this young man, a soldier par excellence, upon entering the elevator greeted us all. “Good morning”.

Romans 11:33 (King James Version)

33O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!

Thanks be to God!

The Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington DC



  1. Hi, enjoyed the post. Looking forward to reading more…:)

    • jocelyn bautista

      thanks be to God! love your posts too…

  2. It’s a very touching article! Heart-felt lines, drive every reader into self-reflection to be more appreciative of all the things that we have, which GOD has endowed to us.

    …and when I quite weary of thinking for reason, I always conclude on this;

    Rom 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

  3. jocelyn bautista

    @Bro Norvie,

    After I wrote this, I feel, I can write anything now. Thanks be to God.

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