Sometimes We Fall as Boys but Rise as Men: The Healing of a Purple Heart Iraqi Veteran
Injuries resulting from an explosion in an IED attack ripped the wheel out of the hands of Thomas Green’s control changed his life forever. Green was driving a military truck on a mission while on assignment to Iraq in April 2004. “Sometimes We Fall as Boys but Rise as Men” is Thomas Green’s personal story. It is the story of an Iraqi War veteran, recipient of the Purple Heart, an Operation Freedom Campaign Medal, and a Good Conduct Medal.
Green joined the U. S. Army in 2001 and was deployed to Iraq in February 2004. His service in Iraq and thirteen months of treatment in the Walter Reed Medical Center gave Thomas a new perspective on war, the impact, and the psychological effects on young men who experience the trauma and reality of serving their country on the battlefield to become victims of life-threatening and debilitating injury.
Thomas takes the reader back to his childhood and the major obstacles he faced while growing up. He tells of living in the limelight of his older sisters, from elementary school through middle school, and high school. He tells of stepping out in faith, attaining goals, of his success in high school athletics, and of receiving a football scholarship from Bacone College in Musgogee, Oklahoma. His mother continually reminded Thomas, “No matter how many times you fall you can still get up.” Whatever happened to him, Thomas remembered this advice and stood up again on his own two feet.
While at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Thomas was surrounded by other injured soldiers; he recognized the importance of uplifting and inspiring others. Sharing their stories with fellow sufferers helped get them through trying times. Green felt that God wanted him to share his testimony of overcoming adversity, telling how God got him through the ordeal of suffering the pain of combat injuries and how this changed his life forever.
Thomas tells of the difficulties he encountered while working through the maze of bureaucratic agencies, unending paperwork, the hardship of recovery, experiencing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and of family hardship and disappointment.
“Sometimes We Fall as Boys but Rise as Men” is written with candor and integrity, rich in detail, demonstrating action and giving meaning to the context, while engaging the reader intimately in the story. Thomas Green III shows promise of becoming an award-winning writer.
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Reviewed by for Reader Views (11/09)