Monday, December 21, 2009
Welcome Home Sgt. Shane Sherer! OUR AMERICAN HERO
I am so honored to have been a part of such a very special welcome home. Today several hundred grateful citizens came together at the Gerald R. Ford Intl. Airport to welcome home Sargent Shane Sherer from Afghanistan where many months ago he was hit by Taliban mortar fire and was injured near death. He had massive injuries to his head and body and was not expected to survive-yet I had the honor of welcoming him home with a hug and a thank you today. I can't tell you how it made me feel to look into this soldiers eyes and say "Thank You." Sgt. Scherer was moved to tears at the sight of all of us there just for him. There wasn't a dry eye in the place. Every media station in Grand Rapids was there and several news papers too. I think, now especially at Christmas, we all appreciate our troops even more. Sgt. Sherer has a great sense of humor too! When Mrs. Bennett introduced us, she told him I was a world champion in martial arts and guess what he said! "Just don't kick my a$, I've been thru enough!" I just hugged him and cried.
A little background on Sgt. Scherer:
May 29, 2009, Sgt. Shane Scherer was seriously injured serving in the US Army as a Calvary Scout, in Northern Afghanistan, by a mortar round. Twelve days before Shane was to return to the US, his military base was attacked by the Taliban and he was near the blast that left his body covered with shrapnel, a severed artery, severe damage to his right hand, and a major brain injury. Emergency surgery was done in an Afghanistan hospital to save his life on the severed artery and brain. The doctor in the hospital performed this life saving surgery by removing a huge part of his skull to protect the brain from the swelling, on the phone with the help of a more experienced doctor. Shane was not anticipated to live through the night. Since that night Shane has had 20 surgeries and has been recovering in Bethesda Naval Hospital in Washington D.C., and the VA Hospital in Palo Alto, California. Just this week he was finally released from the VA Hospital, and will be doing his out-patient recovery at the Army Base at Ft Lewis, Washington Brain Trauma Center. Shane had to wear a helmet to protect his brain until his reconstructive surgery to rebuild his skull in September. The surgery on his finger was successful and the joint was rebuilt, so his has use of his finger. The thumb has limited movement and that surgery was not as successful. Scars remain over his entire body, but not his face. Recovery has been very long and difficult, but Shane has had such a great positive and determined attitude that he has made a remarkable recovery.
He received a Purple Heart from the US Army in July. At present the Army is working on a medical discharge and after that Shane hopes to return to college to get a Masters Degree. He does have disabilities, but can walk, talk, and think, and with time we all hope he can reach his goals he has set for himself in life. Since Shane's injuries, his fiance', Jacqueline Bennett of Lowell has not worked, but instead sat by his bedside, and been there as his biggest advocate. Their wedding had to be cancelled and rescheduled for June 2010.
Shane has never been to Michigan, but will be visiting with Jacqueline, to her home town of Lowell, for Christmas.
Sargent Sherer- I hope you get to read this one day. I want you to know that it doesn't matter that I don't know you personally. I appreciate you and your service to our country as if you were my brother. Thank you, for all you've done to protect us here at home and keep us safe from the horrors you've seen and had to live over seas. God bless you always. Psalm 91:11 "He will command his angels to watch over you..."
A final thought. Take time. Take time out of your busy day to thank a soldier or veteran. It only takes a minute and it means more than you know. I saw the tears roll down the Sgts. face when he got his well deserved Thank you and "Welcome Home." They deserve so much more but this is the least we can do for them.
WOOD TV 8 Story: http://www.woodtv.com/dpp/news/local/kent_county/Lowell-embraces-injured-soldier
FOX 17 Story: http://www.fox17online.com/news/fox17-wounded-soldier-receives-michigan-welcome,0,7791253.story
WZZM TV 13 : http://www.wzzm13.com/news/story.aspx?storyid=116876
It's not too late to meet Sgt. Sherer! One more big WELCOME HOME from the City of Lowell. Join me on Wednesday December 23 at 7:00 p.m. at the Lowell Showboat when we gather one more time to wish the Sgt. well, say THANKS!, and there's a special treat! My friend Brennan Prill is going to sing "God Bless America" Celine Dijon style! See you there