I met the man on the left in the photo yesterday. He’s Sergeant Neil Duncan (retired). The man in the center is former President George W. Bush and the man on the right is Army Specialist Max Ramsey. I didn’t meet them.
The reason I used this photograph is to show how many of us see someone who has been damaged or disfigured by war. We don’t see their eyes and we don’t want to feel their pain. We want them to go away, to be normal, to be like us. We just see this.
Neil was seriously wounded in Afghanistan as a result of an explosion in December of 2005. He lost both of his legs, shattered his jaw, broke his elbow and hand, and sustained multiple shrapnel wounds.
Today, Neil seems normal. Wearing dress slacks, his gait is quick and determined. You can tell there’s something different, but not that different from you and me.
What’s really different is how impressive this man is. My focus quickly went from his legs to the entirety of him. This is not a man who is broken, but rebuilt into something more, a person who will not be defined by his injuries, but will win you over with his character and determination.
Now, the reason for this blog. Neil was speaking to a group of partners at Overstock.com as part of the Wounded Warrior Project, a group dedicated to supporting veterans who have experienced injury in war.
Please visit the Overstock blog on the Wounded Warrior Project at the link below. It will change you.