I actually read this in MY paper !!
May 10, 2008
BAGHDAD - Staff Sgt. Luis Falcon, 38, was patrolling the streets of Baqouba, north of Baghdad, when he saw Shahad Abbas. The 11-year-old girl was in a large decrepit wheelchair, and the stumps of her legs where her calves should have been were crusted with dried blood.
Falcon couldn't just walk on, so he stopped to talk. He came back the next day and the day after that, then every day for six months, bringing her toys, gauze for her legs, a new wheelchair. Anything she asked for, he would bring.
In a war that Falcon no longer really understood, Shahad became his mission. So when she asked for legs, that became his mission, too.
On Friday his dream and hers came true, just three weeks before he's scheduled to leave Iraq. Shahad was fitted with prosthetic limbs in a U.S. military-funded clinic in Baghdad that normally provides artificial limbs for wounded members of the Iraqi security forces.
"We created a bond, and I didn't need a translator to interpret the bond we had," Falcon said.
With no little girls of his own, he thought of Shahad as his daughter and carried a picture of her smiling in the shoulder pocket of his uniform.
Iraq has one of the largest populations of amputees in the world, though a (Read more...)
June 23 in U.S. military history
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