Long Road To Recovery For Wounded Warrior
January 9, 2009
FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas -- Sitting on the 30-yard line in San Antonio's Alamodome during the U.S. Army All American Bowl, Spc. Lawrence Guerro is a long way from the place that brought him here to San Antonio.
In 2006, Guerro, a Native American, came to San Antonio from Magdalena, a small historic old west village, located in New Mexico, by way of Baghdad, Iraq. While serving in Iraq he was wounded in action when his vehicle encountered a roadside bomb during a ground convoy just outside of Camp Striker.
Even though Guerro is not a true football fan, coming to the game Jan.3, sponsored by the Warrior and Family Support Center gave him an opportunity to get away from the Powless Guest House for a few hours.
The Powless Guest House is a 150-room housing facility on Fort Sam Houston for wounded warriors, where Guerro spends most of his time recuperating from his injuries.
"The event like today gives me an opportunity to spend time with my son, this is my first time coming to an event like this, said Marie Guerro, Spc. Guerro's mother. I have been to a couple of events since arriving here; it gives us something to do, instead of staying at the Powless House everyday."
It has been a long and trying road, both physically and mentally for Guerro and his Family. His first stop after being injured in Iraq was to Landstuhl, Germany, and then back to the states to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. From there Guerro was flown to Fort Sam Houston, Texas, where Brooke Army Medical Center, the Center for the Intrepid, the Powless House, the Warrior and Family Support Center are located, and most importantly, to be closer to his Family.
BAMC is renowned for providing servicemembers with long-term therapy following severe injuries received during war, and the Center for the Intrepid, the Army's state-of-the-art physical rehabilitation facility, is instrumental in Guerro's physical therapy and recovery.
As far has his mental recovery is concerned, the support and love of his parents, who have travelled from New Mexico to be by his side, is the most powerful presence in his recuperation process, and this is where the assistance of the WFSC makes its appearance.
The WFSC has proven to be a vital component in the recovery process of the wounded warriors and their Family members.
One of the roles of the WFSC is to give Family members, who come join their loved ones through these difficult times, all the moral support and assistance they need while making the transition to a new city as unproblematic as possible.
It provides a place, a sanctuary away from the hospital, a relaxed and comfortable environment, where wounded warriors and their Family members can receive emotional support and answers to questions regarding rehabilitation and assistance with coping with war related disabilities.
Marie Guerro has made several trips to San Antonio from New Mexico since he was injured back in 2006. She speaks highly of the WFSC and all that they have done for their Family since they have come here.
"Judith Markelz, [WFSC program manager] and all of the staff at the WFSC have been wonderful, they have really been supportive and have been there every time we needed anything; they work really well with the Soldiers," she said.
Throughout his journey, there have been some negative stops on the way. Guerro a soft-spoken man, of few words seems to have come to grips with the lost of his leg, but still struggles with trying to put into perspective why he and his wife have separated, and why he doesn't get to see his two children much. Despite the setbacks he continues to be positive and always looks towards the horizon. Even though the road for Guerro has been long and sometimes uncertain; it now seems headed in a new and positive direction.
His physical condition is much better than it was a year ago, most of his surgeries are behind him now, his parents have decided to relocate permanently to San Antonio. His father has already found employment, and he (Guerro) is making plans to purchase a home soon.
Guerro is always looking towards the horizon not to see the sun set, but because he says, that he knows that the sun always rises in the morning.