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How You Can Grant This Dying Army Vet’s Final Wish With Just A Text
Army veteran Lee Hernandez, 47, suffers from a debilitating stroke condition that has been deemed terminal after three brain surgeries were unable to pinpoint the cause. All his doctors can do to help is make him more comfortable in hospice care. But Hernandez does have one dying wish: to hear from you.
His wife, Ernestine, learned that text messages and phone calls make her husband, who spent 18 years in the Army and did a tour in Iraq, light up.
Lee, who is being cared for at a hospital in New Braunfels, Texas, asked his wife to hold onto his phone “in case someone calls,” but after his phone was silent for two hours, he said “I guess no one wants to talk to me.”
Hearing that, Ernestine new she had to act.
“It broke my heart,” Ernestine told AZCentral. His “speech is not very well, so many people didn’t take much interest or want to talk to him.”
So she reached out to Caregivers of Wounded Warriors, an advocacy group for caregivers, and the Arizona Veterans Forum posted his wish to Facebook, along with his phone number.
“A lot of people call to pray with him,” Ernestine said. “It really uplifts him.”
Though the strokes have left him blind, Lee brightens up when Ernestine reads messages and cards to him.
Ernestine wants people to continue to call or text Lee. She said that it’s best to reach out between 2 and 6 p.m. Central Time. The number is (210) 632-6778.
Though he is in a lot of pain most days, Lee tries to answer the phone each time it rings.
Lee has been dealing with the strokes for five years, but has beaten the odds so far, according to Ernestine. Though she said he hit “rock bottom” a year ago, “his strong will keeps him going."
“The experience is very painful, but I wouldn’t have it any other way,” Ernestine said.
Editor's note: A combat wounded veteran, Ryan served in the U.S. Army as an armor officer assigned to 1st Battalion, 13th Armor Regiment. While deployed to Iraq in 2005, his vehicle was hit with an improvised explosive device buried in the road. He works as the Wounded Warrior Project's national Combat Stress Recovery Program director.
On Nov. 29, 2005, my life changed forever. I was a 24-year-old U.S. Army armor captain deployed to Taji, Iraq, when my vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device. On that day, I lost two of my soldiers, Sgts. Jerry Mills and Donald Hasse, and I lost my right arm and left leg.
Fatal training accidents are on the rise. Now the families of the fallen are pushing lawmakers to do something about it
CAMP PENDLETON — Susan and Michael McDowell attended a memorial in June for their son, 1st Lt. Conor McDowell. Kathleen Isabel Bourque, the love of Conor's life, joined them. None of them had anticipated what they would be going through.
Conor, the McDowells' only child, was killed during a vehicle rollover accident in the Las Pulgas area of Camp Pendleton during routine Marine training on May 9. He was 24.
Just weeks before that emotional ceremony, Alexandrina Braica, her husband and five children attended a similar memorial at the same military base, this to honor Staff Sgt. Joshua Braica, a member of the 1st Marine Raider Battalion who also was killed in a rollover accident, April 13, at age 29.
Braica, of Sacramento, was married and had a 4 1/2-month-old son.
"To see the love they had for Josh and to see the respect and appreciation was very emotional," Alexandrina Braica said of the battalion. "They spoke very highly of him and what a great leader he was. One of his commanders said, 'He was already the man he was because of the way he was raised.' As parents, we were given some credit."
While the tributes helped the McDowells and Braicas process their grief, the families remain unclear about what caused the training fatalities. They expected their sons eventually would deploy and put their lives at risk, but they didn't expect either would die while training on base.
"We're all still in denial, 'Did this really happen? Is he really gone?' Braica said. "When I got the phone call, Josh was not on my mind. That's why we were at peace. He was always in training and I never felt that it would happen at Camp Pendleton."
North Korea threatens to resume nuclear weapons and ICBM tests if US-South Korea military exercises proceed
SEOUL (Reuters) - The United States looks set to break a promise not to hold military exercises with South Korea, putting talks aimed at getting North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons at risk, the North Korean Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.
The United States' pattern of "unilaterally reneging on its commitments" is leading Pyongyang to reconsider its own commitments to discontinue tests of nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), the ministry said in a pair of statements released through state news agency KCNA.
Customs and Border Patrol denied a Marine vet entry into the US for his a scheduled citizenship interview
A deported Marine Corps veteran who has been unable to come back to the U.S. for more than a decade was denied entry to the country Monday morning when he asked to be let in for a scheduled citizenship interview.
Roman Sabal, 58, originally from Belize, came to the San Ysidro Port of Entry around 7:30 on Monday morning with an attorney to ask for "parole" to attend his naturalization interview scheduled for a little before noon in downtown San Diego. Border officials have the authority to temporarily allow people into the country on parole for "humanitarian or significant public benefit" reasons.
Navy Secretary Richard Spencer took the reins at the Pentagon on Monday, becoming the third acting defense secretary since January.
Spencer is expected to temporarily lead the Pentagon while the Senate considers Army Secretary Mark Esper's nomination to succeed James Mattis as defense secretary. The Senate officially received Esper's nomination on Monday.