Welcome to Anthony's caring bridge site. I am honored to give you all an opportunity to stay up-to-date with Anthony's progress as it happens.
Anthony is a Corpsman second class with the United States Navy. He is stationed with the second batallion, seventh marine unit out of Twentynine Palms, CA. He was deployed for his second tour of combat duty on January 29, 2007. Anthony takes great pride in his job and in "his" marines.
Anthony was injured on April 20, 2007 when a SVBIED (suicide vehicle born improvised e device) was detonated under an overpass where they were standing post. He and 7 other marines were injured in the incident. Anthony sustained a head injury, an injury to his lower back, a punctured right lung and minor scrapes and scratches on his legs, hands, arms and face. He was medivaced to 3 different medical stations before finally being sent to Landstuhl Medical Center in Landstuhl, Germany. There he was cared for by loving hands of the ICU nurses and doctors for just shy of a week. On Friday, April 27, 2007, he was then medivaced to the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, MD.
There are lot of days that make me think about life and love and everything in between and this is one of those days. Today, 13 years post terrorist attack, I look at my life and am again reminded on just how much has changed. 13 years ago today I was a month graduated from college; hadn’t met Anthony yet...hell, hadn’t even thought about getting married. Then the horrific events of today happened and I was in shock when I woke up and watched the news...I thought it was a Hollywood movie or something along those lines. It wasn’t and life was forever changed. I looked at our military differently, as I am sure so many others did. Firemen and Policemen were even more of heroes and we all came together as a nation...in a way we hadn’t in a long time. Fast forward 3 years later, I meet this man...well “boy” really, but boy was I smitten and was told by his friends that he was as well. Anthony was striking to look at, 6’3” tall, gorgeous blue gray eyes, absolutely no fashion sense, but I was so willing to overlook that. He was sweet, respectful, thoughtful, caring, a complete gentleman and I never looked back. It was full speed ahead on both our parts and good thing too. We dated a year and a half before he proposed (although he was ready to hitched right out of the gates...crazy guy!). We were married 6 months later (quietly) and then he deployed for his first tour to Iraq. Luckily for us, he came back safe and sound that tour and I was never happier to see a human being until he stepped foot off that bus in 29 Palms and threw his arms around me. Six months after that, we had the party of all parties and were married in front of ALL of our friends and family...the happiest day of my life...or so I thought. Quickly after that, we honeymooned and then made the move to California. There we lived HAPPILY as a married couple! Like any couple we had our spats, but we always worked our way through them and bounced right back. Exactly 6 months after moving to California we found out I was pregnant and then THAT was the happiest day of my life! We were going to be a family of 3 and I was nervous, but Anthony always just had a way of taking my nerves and throwing them out the window. A week and a half later, I had to squeeze Anthony’s neck and watch him walk away from me...FOREVER. Three months after he deployed and our life changed forever. You all know what happened in the 7 years that followed...so I won’t bore you with those details. And here we are today. 13 years after those towers fell and very different lives, not only for us, but for so many! Today is September 11th and this is a day that I will NEVER forget; like many of you. So many lives were changed either directly or indirectly because of the events that happened on this day. As for me, it was because of those events that my man was where he was when he was injured. I consider myself lucky to still have him here with us, but everyday when I look in his eyes, I’m reminded of what he gave up and sacrificed and; in turn, what our family gave up and sacrificed. He is most definitely NOT the same man that walked away from me that cold January morning and, truth be told, he will NEVER be that man again and that thought alone breaks my heart! AJ is missing out on an amazing man, the father that he deserves to have and participate in his life; instead, we are merely participants in his...at least that’s what it feels like sometimes. Although I’m very proud of the position and title I hold as caregiver to Anthony, I would very much love just to be the “wife” and that’s almost always the last hat I seem to wear. Life is full of “coulda shoulda woulda” and I KNOW I’m not perfect, but all I can do is navigate this life in a way that makes me feel somewhat complete. I still very much feel guilty when I leave my man; for an hour or a week, it doesn’t matter. And when I do leave to get away, I often times feel guilty because I sometimes don’t want to come back to reality. Truth is though, my reality, although difficult more of the time, is exactly where I want and was meant to be. So on this day that so many people mourn for so many different reasons, though mostly for loss of life and security...may we be blessed now and always and just remember to thank God every single day for every breath you take, every laugh you share, every love in your life and every person in that life that makes it what you want it to be because in a moment...it can be all taken from you and unfortunately, it’s then that realize that you didn’t have enough time with the ones you care about most. Let us all not wait; there’s a reason we’re told to “live life to the fullest”...I think I’m testament to that. Never Forget.
The upside for us is that this day of mourning and loss, is always followed by a day of celebration for us! Tomorrow is the lad’s birthday!!!!! Not just any birthday, but Lucky #7!!! Can you believe it??? Seven years since Anthony was injured and Seven years since the 3rd happiest day of my life occurred. AJ is special...he always has been. He has brought incredible sunlight to many dark day for, not only me and Anthony, but so many people whose lives he’s touched. He grew up in a way that no child should, but he did it with love, wonder, acceptance, compassion, humor, lots of hugs and kisses and absolute amazement. We are so VERY proud of the boy he has become and only hope that how he got to where he is now, will only guide him to where he is meant to be as an adult. I know big thoughts for such a little person, but if you know him, you know there’s nothing “little” about him. He’s the boy with the big personality, big smile, big eyes, big heart, and he even LOVES BIG! (See he really IS a Texan...everything is bigger in Texas!) So if you get a moment today, send a birthday wish AJ’s way, he deserves the best lucky #7 birthday a boy could ask for!