Many of you still write to ask how my cousin Spc. Chase Matthews is doing after he was injured in Iraq earlier this year. I wrote an editorial called "When War Hits Home," appearing in our June 18 issue (p. 4).
The answer is "great!" In fact, as I write this, Chase is sitting in a room with my uncle at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, recovering from another surgery to further repair his left arm and left leg crippled in Iraq.
My home county had a benefit concern for him and Sgt. Jonathan McMackin, two local men injured by a roadside bomb this spring while on patrol in Iraq with their Kentucky Army National Guard unit, Bravo Company based in Marion, KY.
My cousin eventually lost both legs and damaged his left arm. McMackin suffered a broken leg, and still walks with a bit of a limp.
Chase continues his physical and occupational therapy at Walter Reed, adjusting to life without legs and working toward full-range of movement in his left arm. His most recent surgery scraped away some more bone from the left leg in order to allow his prosthesis to fit more snugly. Once the stitches come out, his father said, he'll begin getting used to the new fit.
He and three other soldiers, as well as my uncle Rudy, were treated to a weekend at Pintail Point, a river plantation on Maryland's eastern shore, for a duck hunt. As you can imagine, we are grateful, still, for the hard workers at Walter Reed who have helped Chase in his recovery.