Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Lest We Forget - A Very Personal Wounded Warrior Story: 1LT Kyle Snook

As I was in the midst of preparing the previous article about the launching of Team Red, White and Blue to serve the reintegration needs of Wounded Warriors, I received news that made the concept of "Wounded Warrior" very real and very close to home. I count many members of the Snook family among my most treasured friends. Two of the sons of Scott and Cathy Snook are 1LT Sean Snook, West Point Class of 2007, and 1LT Kyle Snook, West Point Class of 2008. Until just a few weeks ago, both of them were serving with their units in Afghanistan.

This past Sunday, Kyle was wounded when his unit was engaged with enemy forces and he triggered a buried pressure-plate-activated IED. He received injuries to his foot and leg. His fellow soldiers managed to extricate him quickly and efficiently from the battlefield and get him to the Forward Operating Base and then to a hospital to deal with his broken foot and shrapnel wounds.

His brother, Sean, wrote the caption to the photo seen above when he posted it on Facebook:

"I got this picture today September 26, 2010. I wanted to share it. We just talked to Kyle and he didn't mind us posting it. In this picture Kyle is receiving the Purple Heart from BG Ben Hodges. We talked to him on the phone within the last hour, he is in good spirits. Keep him and his troopers in your thoughts."

As it turns out, Brigadier General Hodges was a West Point class of 1980 classmate of Scott and Cathy. He was passing through the hospital and recognized the Snook name.

Compassion fatigue is endemic to our busy lives. When was the last time you thought about the continuing plight of those still living in tents more than nine months after the devastating earthquake leveled much of Haiti's fragile infrastructure? How about the miners still trapped underground in Chile? We too easily become inured to suffering - whether on an individual basis or collectively. Amidst the political speechifying and posturing about our presence in Iraq and Afghanistan, brave soldiers - like Kyle and Sean and their comrades - continue to put themselves at risk and in harm's way to carry out the mission that has been assigned to them.

Thank God that Kyle's wounds are not more serious. Joining me in pausing to pray in thanksgiving for Kyle having been spared. Pray, as well, for the men and women who continue to serve, and for the families that wait with bated breath for the phone call that may come in the middle of the night telling of another wounded warrior - their son or daughter. They are not a faceless, nameless band - they are our sons and daughters and our neighbors sons and daughters.

Let us not forget.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very nice article on Kyle Snook. I am glad that he did not get injured to the point that it might have killed him. Praise God...Can you tell me how he is doing now? Was he brought back home to the States and is he still serving? In my eyes and I am sure of millions of other Americans he is a Hero. :)