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November 11, 2007 11:58 AM   Subscribe

Coming Home - in honor of Veteran's Day, it might be fitting to check in on the recovery of J.R. Salzman, known here on mefi as Logboy.
posted by madamjujujive (41 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
This is a really good article, but painful to read.

"They've done so many missions in those areas. They've put out sniper teams and they've killed unbelievable amounts of people who were putting out IEDs, and they just keep coming, they just keep coming — more people, more people, putting out IEDs. You kill one, and there's somebody standing right behind him. It's just going to take time. It's getting better, but it just takes time."

Logboy's level of athleticism is pretty amazing too.
posted by mecran01 at 12:15 PM on November 11, 2007


One day he hopes to be a teacher, and to devise a new tale each semester on how he lost his arm. "One semester it'll be the table saw," he says. "The next it'll be a wood lathe. Or I'll say that I was framing a house alone, nailed my arm to the roof and had to gnaw my own arm off. I'm going to screw with those kids.

"Might as well have fun with it. You can only be so serious."
It's great and inspiring that he hasn't lost his sense of humor despite all of the hardships he's gone through.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 12:33 PM on November 11, 2007 [2 favorites]


Wow. Watched the ESPN interview. Very toucing story. Thanks, J.R. for your military service. Many are behind ya' and are confident that with your drive and spirit, you'll maintain your "world-class" status in log-rolling.
posted by ericb at 12:46 PM on November 11, 2007


*touching*
posted by ericb at 12:47 PM on November 11, 2007


I sure hope US society is supportive of their soldiers returning. Especially the wounded ones like Logboy.
Very raw to be reading about his experiences and injuries.
posted by jouke at 1:12 PM on November 11, 2007


His blog.
posted by miss lynnster at 1:16 PM on November 11, 2007


Poignant, fascinating piece. Thanks both to J.R. and to mjjj for sharing this with the rest of us. The anecdotes buried in the article (the wedding ring, nerve-damage testing, his morphine allergy) are so bittersweet, a testament to his fortitude and his enduring sense of humor.

See also J.R. Salzman's blog.
posted by rob511 at 1:18 PM on November 11, 2007


Best wishes, man.
posted by 31d1 at 1:32 PM on November 11, 2007


aww madamjujujive, so like you to be informed of logboy's recovery process. Painful, moving, hope inspiring and so many other feelings in watching that video, seeing the photos. I love it that he has a substantial loving support network in his family, his wife and that he was in excellent health before the injury.

Wonderful post, even if it makes me cry.

Since you wrote the MetaTalk post about him about 11 months ago, I wondered how he was doing, worried about him, wondered if any of the tips I wrote were useful to him. Glad he's healing, that he's alive.

logboy was injured by the IED about a month or so before Saddam Hussein was hanged.

It must have been such an interesting -staggeringly difficult- year for him. He went to war when the US was still impassioned about taking a "stand against terror". So much has been happening in politics, in views about this war, so many truths revealed, controversies, reversals of opinion. Reading his website, his focus is, understandably, about his recovery process, other vets, medical issues for vets but I'm curious what his political thoughts are. It's probably too stressful to put energy into that as he heals.

Another article about his recovery/survival journey.

logboy, if you're reading this, I understand you're struggling with TBI issues. Free ebook on traumatic brain injuries, The Traumatic Injury Survival Guide.

Other research that might be helpful for you: Hyperbaric oxygen therapy improved spatial learning and memory Published Thursday, October 11, 2007

CDP Choline Caps. CDP-choline stands for cytidine-5-diphosphocholine, a form of choline that several studies have shown may be beneficial for brain injury and head trauma. A recent study in the Journal of Neurosurgery shows that treatment with CDP-choline decreased brain damage following traumatic brain injury.

Traumatic brain injury is the most common injury of soldiers returning from the war in Iraq. In light of this, new clinical trials using DMSO to manage the elevated intracranial pressure common to such injuries are now being approved.

Services for People with Traumatic Brain Injury and/or Spinal Cord Injury and Similar Disability, may have a referral service to your state?

Clinical trial for TBI treatment.

When you wrote me last you asked if I were a doctor, no, still not a doctor, lol. Just a googler. Send an email if you'd like me to research anything for you.

Photos of Bush visiting injured vets - graphic and not for the squamish.
posted by nickyskye at 1:43 PM on November 11, 2007 [2 favorites]


*squeamish
posted by nickyskye at 1:43 PM on November 11, 2007


I'd like to feel sympathy for him, but I just don't. Why was he fighting in an illegal war, oppressing brown people and making us all that little bit less safe? There are plenty of possible reasons, some less bad than others, but none that reflect well on him.

I'm terribly sad that we can't have a remembrance day for the unambiguous heroes who sacrificed their lives for the good of us all, without clouding the occasion by including these latter-day conquistadors.

You want some real heroes from the Iraq war? Here you go.
posted by mr. strange at 1:50 PM on November 11, 2007


Thanks madamjujujive. Great post.
posted by rockhopper at 1:53 PM on November 11, 2007


Mr. Strange, unfortunately there is no such thing as an unambigious hero. At least not in the world I have to live in.
posted by slimepuppy at 2:07 PM on November 11, 2007


Thanks, Mr Strange, for sharing with us.

Unfortunately 11/11 is not the time, and nor this thread the place, to get into how and why the US people as a whole was led to believe that removing Saddam & Sons was a good idea.

Just remember we re-elected this admin on 11/04. "Accountability moment" indeed.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 2:16 PM on November 11, 2007


Very moving. I can empathize with the incredibly courageous struggle of these wounded soldiers and at the same time be very much against the war and the reasons for anyone willing to go fight it. Inconsistent? Maybe - mostly it feels very human.

Thanks for the post.
posted by bluesky43 at 2:17 PM on November 11, 2007


There's precedent for the becoming a teacher and telling kids a different thing each year. My driver's education teacher had a hook instead of a hand, and his tales got more outlandish each year.

I had graduated when I found out that he'd actually lost it in Vietnam, after one of his fellow soldiers made a stupid mistake with a grenade. I always liked that he used his missing arm as a joke, never afraid of it or of us making fun of it. He got there first and he got there best, so we all just took it in stride.
posted by InnocentBystander at 2:18 PM on November 11, 2007


Mr.strange, I've presented an update about a fellow mefite who was grievously injured and is on a difficult and courageous path to recovery.

This is a human story, not a political one. There are plenty of other threads to dispute the war.
posted by madamjujujive at 2:26 PM on November 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


mr. strange, If you had watched the video, it said, In September 2003, still shaken by the events of 9/11, J.R. made a life-altering choice. With America at war, J.R. enlisted in the National Guard. "I'm doing what I need to do to thank my country for providing me with everything I have."

In 2003 it was then not considered an illegal war. Our nation's political leaders told the world: MARCH 30, 2003: Donald Rumsfeld: We know where the WMD are

We know where [the weapons of mass destruction] are. They’re in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat. [ABC This Week, 3/30/03]


None of the lies had been revealed publicly about the war in Iraq at the time JR enlisted.

Though I wish war never existed, there are people who are capable of sacrificing their lives for others' betterment as soldiers. The American Revolution comes to mind, winning freedom from being ruled by monarchs, the Civil War in the US, with one of the main agendas being putting an end to slavery in the US. The world was, in our parents' or grandparents' lifetimes, saved from Hitler's insanity by such soldiers.

Just last night I was talking with somebody about the owners of a candy shop we went to as children, Hungarians, who had their arms tattooed from their having been at concentration camps. I'm profoundly grateful to the soldiers of the Allied Forces in WWII and think about how different a world it would have been if they had not made that sacrifice.
posted by nickyskye at 2:41 PM on November 11, 2007 [3 favorites]


You rock Logboy. You're a hero of mine and quite an inspiration. Your courage and spirit are something not easy to dismiss.

I hope life allows you out on the river and an opportunity to catch a few trout this fall. I am thinking of you the next one I hook. In some ways, there is nothing more calming in life than standing in a stretch of pristine trout water drinking in the environment and preparing to launch that first cast to a rising trout, especially at dawn with the mist rising off the water and the sun low through the trees.
posted by caddis at 2:46 PM on November 11, 2007


You rock Logboy.

Seconded.
posted by psmith at 3:14 PM on November 11, 2007


Logboy is a total stud. Thanks for the post.
posted by dhammond at 3:31 PM on November 11, 2007


I am the mother of a TBI survivor. One of the consequences of TBI rarely mentioned is mental health fragility: a large number of survivors (60% in one study) will develop either delusional disorders or schizophrenia. I wish doctors would have warned me of this particular consequence, so I could have been on the alert and ready for intervention. I cannot bear to think of all these young people having the same problems than my son has.
posted by francesca too at 3:31 PM on November 11, 2007


Best wishes, Logboy.
posted by Quietgal at 3:57 PM on November 11, 2007


So sorry to hear about your son's struggle with TBI, francesca too. Your comment caused me to wonder if the PTSD diagnosis ascribed to many war vets may not have been TBI as well.

Loving thoughts to you as you cope with your son's recovery.

You probably know this already...Family Forum on Brain Injury, TBI Help Desk for Caregivers, TBI Support Group Links.

EEG Spectrum has neurofeedback therapy, may be able to help with appropriate treatment for TBI. You might give them a call and ask if there is a neurofeeback therapist in your area familiar with neurofeedback for TBI.
posted by nickyskye at 4:29 PM on November 11, 2007


Not to diminish the poignancy, the patriotism, the sacrifice ... he is mad hot. Josie is one lucky woman.
posted by thinkpiece at 4:46 PM on November 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


Logboy, if you're reading this:

Thanks.
posted by pax digita at 4:52 PM on November 11, 2007


"Humanity, I think, is what fills the little gaps between all the broken shit, all the breaking, and all the plans, schematics, graphics and orders. Its the sand slipping out of grasping fingers. Its our instinct without progress as a motivator. It's who we are when we concentrate on being more than doing."

Sgt Thomas Strickland drowned when his HMMWV overturned into a canal near Baghdad.
posted by atchafalaya at 5:54 PM on November 11, 2007


In 2003 it was then not considered an illegal war.

Um. Yeah, it was, by everyone NOT in the US. But that aside...

War is not the fault of the folks who end up fighting it. Blame the voters before you blame the soldiers. They're just doing the job they managed to get.

I've got nothing but respect for Logboy. Rock on, man.
posted by Hildegarde at 6:42 PM on November 11, 2007


His wife, Josie, has a blog as well.
posted by banishedimmortal at 6:51 PM on November 11, 2007


atchafalaya, your comment intrigued me. I looked up more on this Thomas Strickland you quoted. Damn, what a beautiful soul lost. Here is more from former mefite insomnia_lj. If Thomas Strickland was friend or family of yours, I am so sorry. Hell, I am just so sorry anyway. It's all our loss.
posted by madamjujujive at 6:52 PM on November 11, 2007


If you read this logboy, thank you for your courageous service. Ground soldiers are the first people to pay and the last people worthy of blame in a conflict like this.

In the waning moments of this Armistice Day, let's not forget the Jeff Luceys either...
posted by rollbiz at 8:57 PM on November 11, 2007


Blame the voters

Gore got the vote.

logboy's wife, Josie, is so beautiful! Only 21. Just had her birthday this last week. It has to have been a really long haul for her too. Think I'll send her an ecard.
posted by nickyskye at 9:15 PM on November 11, 2007


nickysyke, in our Constitutional system the electorate first had the chance to change moral direction wrt the war in Iraq in 11/2004. We failed that test.

It is not the job of the professional miltary to second-guess American foreign policy, rather, it's their job to effect it.

The failure to get explicit sign-off from the UNSC going in (the "Show Their Cards" time-period) made the intervention of dubious bona fides internationally, but the military action went off with the full consent of our [chickenshit] Congress.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 10:51 PM on November 11, 2007


Good luck to logboy and mrs logboy. Keep rollin'!
posted by Lynsey at 11:40 PM on November 11, 2007


Wow, logboy, I hope you check back in with us soon.

Everybody else, donate to Fisher House. Or just buy The Long Road Home, a Doonesbury compilation of the B.D. strips since the character suffered a limb loss in Iraq. All of Garry Trudeau's income from the book will go to Fisher House.

J.R. Salzman's blog.

That's a ... unique collection of links in his, er, blogroll.

mr. strange: right or wrong, your timing sucks.
posted by dhartung at 1:25 AM on November 12, 2007


I have an uncle who's a double amputee, and while I suspect my political stance on this war would be greatly different from Logboy's, I have nothing but respect for him in the way he's conducted himself through this ordeal.

I hope that all casualties of this war, American and non, are lucky enough as he is, to have had the support of his family and friends.

Roll on Logboy.
posted by hadjiboy at 4:15 AM on November 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


.
posted by quonsar at 7:32 AM on November 12, 2007


(that's mr. strange's pea brain.)
posted by quonsar at 7:32 AM on November 12, 2007 [2 favorites]


Thanks for the first good laugh of the day quonsar. :)
posted by nickyskye at 7:55 AM on November 12, 2007


Logboy, all the best wishes. And thanks.
posted by ibmcginty at 8:29 AM on November 12, 2007


Great post. Good timing.

And thirding (or fourthing)... logboy rules! Best wishes to you, and Mrs. logboy.

Oh, and ignore mr. strange. He's a dick.
posted by ObscureReferenceMan at 9:59 AM on November 12, 2007


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