More good news as well as sad Marissa

Marissa has been an extremely busy young lady the past few days!!!
Her Company Commander (Cpt. Matthews) and First Sgt Stearns flew in
from Washington on Wednesday. We spent Wednesday evening in the
hospital family room having a pizza party and them catching up on
everything that happened in Iraq after Riss left and everything
about the blast that she didn't already know. I will tell you all
the real story in a minute. Yesterday we got ahold of a wheel chair
van and brought Riss to Arlington Cemetary to see her team leaders
grave site. We visited the Women's Memorial building and saw the
changing of the guards at the Tomb of the Unknown soldier. On the
way back we stopped and had dinner at Red Lobster. She did
phenomenal!!! She even went to the bathroom in the restaurant (not
something I want to do a lot right now as she definitely still has
to be lifted!!). She was pleasantly exhausted when we got back to
the hospital but I know for a fact that the day was sooooo good for
her for a lot of reasons. It was awesome to meet those guys and
can't wait to meet the others that are coming at the end of this
week. Dustin and Col Switzer are flying in on Wednesday and staying
until Friday. It was amazing for me to sit back and listen to them
talk about the work that they did together and to see how much
respect they have for her because of the work (prior to the blast).
The incident... They were on a road that runs along side of a canal
that is about 30 feet wide with another road on the other side.
There were 4 - 1.5k units buried on top of each other (causing
double the blast) under the road. They were controlled detonated as
the vehicle was over them, blowing up through the center dashboard
area of the vehicle. SFC Reynolds was in the front passenger seat,
the IP Col behind him. They were blown 150 feet with the passenger
door into the 5-6 foot high very thick brush along side the road on
one side. The driver, Delgado, was blown to the bank of the
opposite side of the canal where he landed with the lower half of
his body in the water. The interpreter, behind him was actually in
the canal with the turret. Marissa was blown completely out of the
turret about 40 feet straight backwards and landed on what was left
of the rear hatch of the truck, slumped over her hand weapons that
rode on her lap with her. Her 50 mil (big gun) was blown completely
across the canal and was recovered up on the edge of the other
road. The soldiers in the other two vehicles immediately started to
run around and find everyone but with the mess that the blast made,
they had actually passed by Riss two or three times before they
found her. Velasquez said that once the dust and dirt started to
settle he noticed something that didn't blend with the scene and
knew it was Strock. The matching tattoo's that she and I got for
her 18th birthday was sticking out since her uniform had rode up
when she slumped over the metal, that is what made her stick out
from the rest of the landscape!!! Once he saw that, he ran toward
it and heard her moans. Although she was coherent, she was not at
all aware of anything going on or any pain. She fought with them
that other people needed more help than she did. It took them
almost an hour to find Reynolds and the IP Col, it was actually the
Iraqi landowners that found them since they had come out to help
secure the scene and do what they could. Reynolds was pronounced
dead at the scene, Delgado died on the medivac prior to arriving at
the cache. Velasquez and Iapolo are the two that are responsible
for saving Marissa by applying tourniquets and CPR. The interpreter
made it through with only two broken bones in his leg and a gash on
his forehead. Marissa had asked to see pictures of her vehicle but
Cpt. Matthews said that he honestly did not know if there were any
other than the investigation pics. He said that the charred PIECES
of the vehicle were picked up by hand and loaded onto a flatbed. It
was so disturbing to look at that he made them tarp it off before
bringing it back to the FOB and removed immediately the next
Marissa was medivacced to the Baghdad cache which is where she lost
her left foot. Cpt Matthews said that they worked relentlessly to
get her stable enough to be flown to Lanstuhl on Friday. The rest,
as they say, is history..
There is no way of knowing who detonated the explosive device as the
brush along the road was very tall and very thick. The Cpt said
that there could have been multiple people rolling around in it
without EVER being detected. They do know that the call to recover
a body found was in fact a legitimate call, not a ploy to get the IP
Col out there.
I am glad that she finally got to hear the truth. Having them sit
and talk about it with her was the best thing that could have
happened. She is doing fantastic with it all. As you can see by
her social life at this point, even the cold hard truth isn't
holding her back. Tomorrow I told her that she is going to have a
down day to recover from all the activities of the last few days.
She was sore tonight by the time she was back in bed. Sunday she
has another pass to go to the Malogne house on base for a Superbowl
party!!! Oh, by the way.. we sat and had dinner with Dennis Farino
tonight at Fran O'Briens in Washington. He has promised her that
anytime she comes to Manhattan, she is guaranteed a personal tour of
the Law and Order set and area!! She is going to have quite the
scrap book by the time all is said and done..
Love to all....
This is a miracle
Reply to
How scary & sad.
I'm so happy to hear that MArissa is coping well. I hope she continues to do so & can lead a very happy life when all is said & done.
Bless you all Trish
Reply to
Trish Irvine
Thanks so much for sharing this.
I am glad she is doing well and hope she continues to do so. I think of her often as I work on my projects. It's hard to believe how someone can be so determined while other's complain about little things. I am glad that she is dealing with it the way she is.
Please let her know that she is in my thoughts.
Darlene in Toronto
Reply to
Thank you for sharing the story and details of Marissa's day out. She and her story are very inspirational. I think of her and pray for her daily. I'm sure she will pull through anything and everything else life has in store for her.
Reply to
An emotional story to read, as am sure it was to write, Dawn. Thanks for sharing, and please give Riss our admiration and RESPECT. Noreen and Don
Reply to
The YarnWright
Thank Good for Marissa and you also for keeping us involved.
I hope you know what you are doing be so helpfull to Marissa. Meaning, you do not know what it is like to be recognized for what you have done for your country by serving in the military and defending the great people of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
Marissa is so blessed to have some one like you who shows the pride you have in her by action, not idle words. I sincerely hope God blesses you abundantly.
Please, keep us informed.
Hugs & God bless, Dennis & Gail
Reply to
Spike Driver
Wow! Dawn, thanks for telling us this. It made for fascinating reading, and much better than what the media tell us. I'll keep praying for Marissa.
Higs, Katherine
Reply to
Hi Dawn,
What a great gal Marissa is and is making such a great recovery. Up here we have quite a few from the Wounded Warriors skiing for the weekend with their families. Some of these guys are from down there and watching them on TV last night brought tears to my eyes as I know one of these days Marissa will be doing it too. Give her a hug from me when you see her.
Hugs and Prayers,
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