Kay Wege wrote in an email today:
Weges arrived in Bethesda, MD, on Sunday evening and were able to see Josh for a few hours. He was tired from the meds and ordeal, but looked like Josh. Each day he gets fiestier (however one spells it). That is a good sign.
Monday was a holiday and we didn't see many of his doctors, but the staff here is phenomenal. We are treated like royalty. I feel a little foolish at times. I am used to being the servant.
Josh was traveling on a random LAV (light armored vehicle) on a routine patrol. He was on a LAV with guys not in his unit. It seems that someone else was supposed to be there, but Josh's words are, "If it wasn't me, then it would have been someone else. Maybe he wouldn't have been as strong as I." He knows that God is guiding and directing his life still.
He recalls hearing the "kah-pow" explosion and flying into the air inside the vehicle. It turns out the bomb was twice the normal power. Sgt. Corey Mathies, also here and wounded explained to us, "The taliban is testing our equipment. They buried this bomb--two hundred pounder--about four feet down, below the range of the scan, piled loose dirt over it, wet the top dirt so the sun baked it dry making it look hard as all the rest. When the first two LAV's drove over it, they helped pack down the dirt, closer and closer to the activation pressure point. Our vehicle brought the packed dirt to the right level to explode it. We flew 40 feet into the air and 45 meters (120 feet) forward."
Mathies says that when the vehicle landed, it was crushed. He said he was screaming in pain and knew that both of his legs were broken. The front two passengers, one Sgt. Killingsworth and the Corpsman (a medic), were able to get out of the vehicle, unhurt, and the other Marine riding in the back with Josh was Justin Howard who was probably blown out of vehicle when it landed. He lost his hearing and was pretty bruised all over, but able to walk. Sgt. Mathies said Josh was under his command in this vehicle so he looked back to find Josh. He said that Josh lay there looking around not making a sound. Mathies pulled himself up on the edge of the vehicle to allow Killingsworth and the Corpsman to get to Josh who, as Mathies said, "was bleeding out." Mathies, not caring for his own pain, told these men to throw his legx out of the way since he could not move them. They kneeled on them while applying tourniquets to both of Josh's legs. This brave act, Dave and I believed, saved our son's life. When we thanked him personally here, he replied, "No thanks needed. I was doing my job. My job is to take care of my men."
Mathies will be here at least three months for rehab to get his busted up legs back to working order. He will be in a wheel chair for quite a while to heal and then a long road of physical therapy to remember how to make them walk again. The doctors tell him, he won't run again. His reply, "Oh yeah? Just watch me!" We have met his family. They are wonderful people.
Josh has a lot of bone below the knee--at least eight inches which excellent for prostectics. He also has the "perfect" body for this type of rehab, strong and athletic, said the orthopedic doctor. Next week the plan is to get the wounds closed and healed so that they may begin the fitting prcedures for his new feet and ankles. He starts some physical therapy today if the back brace comes in to support his back. He has a small fracture in a vertebrae that is minor enough that the doctors are not worried about it to DO anything for it other than support it and let it heal on its own.
In two weeks, Josh will be up working with his new feet. Over the weekend, another amputee has just returned from white water rafting with one of the Marines here. He received his new leg last week, after being here only three weeks. That is the same time frame Josh has. Witz will be going out of here, for sure, on weekends to movies or sports events so he is not bored and his morale gets pumnped up. Josh will be walking before Sgt. Mathies.
This is a wonderful facility and I feel very proud to be a part of it. Once a Marine, the whole family is included and also treated well. It is a great, great family, too. To God be the glory. AMEN!
Thank you so much for the prayers, gifts, thank-yous, and wishes. Please take time to see the wonderful rainbow after the storm has passed.
Please continue to pray for all of our military men and women still fighting to protect our right to live here in this country. Take time to thank a veteran for the sacrifices that he was willing to make for you: the right to pray, worship, speak freely, shop, criticize whatever, vote,and even choose what you will eat, wear, and think each day. This selfless duty of all our military knows the gain brought by their sacrifices is worth every pain. They know that there is Someone above, greater than they, guiding them onward and helping them be strong. The Marines say Semper Fi, short for semper fidelis--always faithful. Remember the greatest sacrifice of all to give us eternal life from one who is ALWAYS faithful to us.