Wounded Marines spend time together in Camp Lejune

A nice article from CNN:

CAMP LEJEUNE, North Carolina (CNN) — At a first-of-its-kind barracks at Camp Lejeune, Marines wounded in Iraq share their recoveries with the one group of people who understand — each other.

They live at Maxwell Barracks, named for Lt. Col. Timothy Maxwell, who suffered a serious head wound in 2004 and almost died near Iskandiriya, a city in Iraq’s notorious “Triangle of Death.”

When the injured Maxwell got back to the United States, he asked his superiors if he could use a building to help his wounded comrades get through the final phases of recovery. The Marines at Maxwell Barracks go through this battle together rather than being sent back to their units.

The lieutenant colonel is still an active duty Marine, and his closely cropped hair reveals a scar that runs in a circular path from his left ear to his forehead. He struggles slightly with his speech, yet he still speaks with the authority of a senior officer.

“The transition from being in your unit, being wounded, going through hospitals, and then either phasing back to their original unit, or back to civilian world, this would be the last stop,” Maxwell said.

In WWII the services had ‘convalescent hospitals’ where wounded servicemen would go to recover before being released home. This served a valuable medical purpose, as well as an emotional one for the servicemembers and their families.

I’ve read about Vietnam vets being ‘back in the world’ 72 hours out of combat, and wonder which genius thought that was a good idea. Decompression is good after that environment, and this is another attempt to recreate it.

BZ to LCOL Maxwell!


Comments

  1. Absolutely. The damage done to and by those Viet Nam vets will remain with us all our lives.

    You should know that some of them created their own defacto decompression houses here in the US. I dated a vet and saw the hurting first hand. Good thing that some had support from others like them. Quite a few (including my former friend) did not make it back whole, and never fully healed.