Indomitable Spirit

Look closely at the picture on the left. That’s Marine Gunnery Sgt. Brian Meyer.

A bomb in Afghanistan had just blown off his leg, his hand, and three fingers on his other hand.  And yet there he is smiling. And he was doing it on purpose.

GySgt. Meyer ordered another Marine to take this picture. He forced a smile despite the pain, because he was worried about the impact his injuries would have on his squad. He hoped the picture would make it easier for them to deal with what happened.

Can you imagine? He was just seriously injured and yet he was thinking about his fellow Marines and how THEY were feeling.

I find that kind of spirit beyond remarkable. And it’s that spirit that is helping GySgt. Meyer through his recovery process. And helping him become independent despite his injuries.

The picture on the right is him now. He says: "I focus on what I have left, not what I lost." What a great attitude.

GySgt. Meyer also works for the Injured Marines Semper Fi Fund, counseling fellow combat veterans. And he uses the picture of him injured to show them what’s possible.

He says: "It's the exact opposite of what somebody expects you to do. So when I show it to people and they are inspired by it, instead of being shocked, I know they get it."

I hate war. I hate seeing how many young men and woman have lost their lives. And I hate seeing how many young men and women have suffered life changing injuries.

But at the same time, I find stories about veterans like GySgt. Meyer incredibly powerful. They are a reminder that there is always hope, no matter how bad the situation is. They are a reminder that all of us are capable of so much more than we think we are. And they are a reminder to NEVER give up.

Thank you GySgt. Meyer. To you and all other veterans: Stay strong!

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