A Salute to the Troops…


The clean-cut  young man on television looked like someone I attended high-school with–my brother, or a friend. With his calm tone, he could be talking about the blue summer skies or his favorite meal.

Fields trains for the 2012 Paralympics.

Fields trains for the 2012 Paralympics.

Except Sgt. Jerrod Fields wasn’t talking about a blue summer sky or some mundane topic; he was telling a reporter about his encounter with a roadside bomb in Baghdad, Iraq.  In 2005, while serving for the  U.S. Army, Sgt. Fields was on a routine reconnaissance mission with his platoon. The routine mission left Fields’ leg badly mangled and facing a tough decision: amputation or 22 operations to fuse his ankle with his leg,  Fields opted for amputation below the knee. Fields’ primary reason for his decision? He would not be able to play basketball.

Not only has Fields resumed playing basketball at a Chicago summer recreational league, he won a gold medal at the 2009 Endeavor games and is already training for the 2012 Paralympics. Throughout it all, Fields remains grateful, saying “I’m just happy to be alive…those bombs aren’t made to take limbs–they’re made to take lives.”

Sgt. Fields’ story is a reality check. I talk a lot of  trash about the war because I don’t support it. I’m like that whiny child in the backseat asking “Are we there yet?” Is the war over yet?  After my reality check, courtesy of Sgt. Fields, I realize my criticism of the war has not translated into support of the troops. Sure, I can vocalize my contempt for the war and our reasons  for entering the war, but I hardly ever vocalize my admiration and sympathy for the soldiers fighting daily.
Sgt. Jerrod Fields of the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program does squats on his prosthetic lower left leg during a weight-training workout at the U.S. Olympic Training Center

Sgt. Jerrod Fields of the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program does squats on his prosthetic lower left leg during a weight-training workout at the U.S. Olympic Training Center

Thank you Sgt. Fields, Brandon,  Artreese, Ernso, and all the other women and men serving in the armed forces. Thank you for risking your lives and being away from your families so that I can share moments with my family.

Sgt. Jerrod Fields–we’ll see you in 2012! I’m rooting for you! (Usain Bolt isn’t the only fastest man running)!

U.S. Army World Class Athelte Program Paralympic sprinter hopeful Sgt. Jerrod Fields, seen here working out at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif., won the 100 meters with a time of 12.15 seconds at the 2009 Endeavor Games in Edmond, Okla., on June 13.

U.S. Army World Class Athelte Program Paralympic sprinter hopeful Sgt. Jerrod Fields, seen here working out at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif., won the 100 meters with a time of 12.15 seconds at the 2009 Endeavor Games in Edmond, Okla., on June 13.

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~ by Miss Tea on August 21, 2009.

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