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Dresden Duplicate Club News

Dresden Duplicate Club News

Posted: Wednesday, December 10, 2008 9:10 am
By: Toni Pritchett

My, oh my, our attendance was down today. We missed Alma Ford, Linda Jennings, Reba Nell Brasfield, Dot Beach, Naomi Fuller, Jo Glasgow, Peggy Mayo, Minnie Bess Williams and Lois Harbour. Needless to say, we had no cake today, but we did have an assortment of cheeses with crackers, nuts, pretzels with honey mustard raspberry mix (good), toffee candy bars and homemade chocolate and peanut butter fudge. I knew that Peggy Mayo’s son and daughter-in-law were visiting from Hawaii. They were there to celebrate Dr. Tom’s 88th birthday. Winners were Mary Jane Thornton of Union City and Roberta Meyer of Puryear, first place; Carol Ehlers and Jackye Hohman both of Paris, second; and tied for third place, Jack Bogue of Milan and Freddye Oliver of Union City, Dr. Bob Sanner of Union City and Toni Pritchett of Dresden. In November, before Thanksgiving, Roy and Fusia Harper and I, Toni, visited Fort Campbell. While standing in line at the Subway Restaurant getting our lunch, I was right behind a tall and somewhat handsome soldier. While standing there, I observed the heavy and many scars and grafted skin all over his entire head and neck. His face was scarred with stitch marks and visible burn scars. One ear was totally gone, smooth entirely except for the remaining entry to his hearing ability. There was one spot on the backside of his head that was about the size of a one half of a dollar bill that was a patch of hair growing. I being interested and concerned, touched him on the shoulder and said, “Sir, I would like to ask you when, where and how you received such atrocious (and obvious) injuries?” He immediately turned to me and said, “Ma’am, I was in Iraq. I was on duty and was flying in a Black Hawk helicopter, and we collided with another helicopter during a firefight. “We crashed and I remembered nothing for days until I came to. I was in the hospital, and after more than 30 operations, I have taken this appearance. (His whole head was nothing but patches of grafted skin all over) He was standing in line, but some of his buddies had their food already and was obviously listening to our conversation, for I was asking questions during this interview. One of his friends came to the line where we were standing and said, “Lady, don’t believe half of what he is saying! He just loves to get all this attention!” This soldier was laughing and slapping this man’s shoulder, as if he was making light of this situation, and you could tell and feel the honest, pure love and respect they had for this injured sergeant. He was one of the five survivors of this horrible accident in the Iraqi War. Fifteen others had perished in the crash. That was the end of my interview with Sgt. Josh Forbess. I went to my son Bill Pritchett’s home for Thanksgiving, and on Thanksgiving Eve NBC news came on at 6. There on the news was President George Bush at Fort Campbell spending time for his last visit. I am sure some of you readers saw the news that evening. President Bush was interviewing Sgt. Forbess. The sergeant had his hat on for part of the interview, concealing many of the tattered scars, but then removed his hat and all could see the damaged head as I had seen it. President was visiting The 101 St Airborne Division where he then presented Sgt. Josh Forbess The Volunteer Service Award. Sgt. Forbess was standing there with his beautiful wife beside him, looking at him so proud and unbelievably happy and smiling. Sgt. Forbess now serves as a mentor for other combat injured veterans and their families. I thought to myself while listening to the TV that evening, “I had the privilege of interviewing this war hero before President Bush.”wcp 12-09-08


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