Today the company that I work for is going to do the Beautification project. We as a company have chosen a person in need and we will beautify their landscaping and make their gardening dreams come true. The case we have chosen is of a 23 year old soldier who was shot in the neck and paralyzed from the waist down. This is his story...
A wounded GI's new battleOur Company has a mission ans its "To make a more beautiful place to live work and play"
Sugar Land soldier is one of thousands returning home disabled
By ROSANNA RUIZ
It was about 1 p.m., and his convoy had paused at a checkpoint near Baqubah, Iraq, northeast of Baghdad, after a report that a man may have planted a bomb. Just the week before, in the same area, an improvised explosive device detonated under his vehicle, damaging the windows.
The team was on alert, but Cannon noticed nothing suspicious.
"I don't remember hearing the first shot," he says, "but I remember feeling short of breath." Five weeks ago, a sniper dropped this Sugar Land soldier, barely out of his teens. The bullet struck him in the neck, exited his back and left him paralyzed below the waist. As Cannon left the battlefield, he joined a growing procession of service members coming home from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan not in flag-draped coffins, but casualties nonetheless. "An Iraqi national, a local, told us that somebody suspicious had dropped something off that looked like an IED," he says. "It might've been a setup, it might've been there, but we didn't know." His team leader told him to get down, but Cannon couldn't move. His hands and feet were like lead. Another bullet ricocheted off the turret.
He learned he'd been shot only after his team leader radioed the others. The convoy was forced to push forward to reach a nearby aid station. "I didn't know what was going to happen and I was like, 'Am I gonna die?'" Cannon says. "He told me to keep my eyes open and to look at him, and I remember seeing a tear drip down his face." At the aid station, Cannon made a doctor promise not to let him die. From Iraq, he was flown to Landstuhl, Germany, where doctors used bone from his hip to salvage a ravaged portion of his vertebrae. They reinforced his back with metal rods and pins during a 10-hour surgery. "I'm going to walk again as much as it's going to take out of me," he said. "No matter what I do, I want to walk again." For now, Cannon can be counted on to lighten the mood with jokes about the bicycle ride he will take or the spinners he wants for his wheelchair. His sense of humor and "smart ass" sensibilities help him stay positive as he remains "fixated on living hour by hour." He quickly became expert at maneuvering his motorized wheelchair, equipped with two controls similar to joy sticks. All of his equipment and medical costs are covered by the VA and will be for the rest of his life. He also can count on monthly VA benefits of $2,300.
When my boss heard his story he knew we had to do something to help him and so this is our Beautification Project. Every year we like to give something back to the world so we pick a case that speaks to all of us. We want everyone to see the oue world is still a very beautiful place and there are plenty of people willing to help and share and love one another the way that we should. We want to make his life a more beautiful place to live and work and play, so the beautification project is on. It just so Happens that today is his birhtday so we are also throwing him a little surprise party. We leave here at 10:30am and wont be back until 3pm. Im excited. His dream was to have a back yard that could be like a manly get away where he can barbeque and just hang out with his friends and drink. So we bout him a beautiful rustic out door cooler that has cool Texas symbolys burned into the wood. Its truely beautiful, it made me want one for my someday house and I just found out that one of my coworkers is know for making them so I asked him to make me one as a wedding gift! That would be sooo cool. Anyways back to Dillon, So his backyard is going to have neautiful ladscaped garden and flowers and a picnic area, barbecue pit and the cooler. We are going to make it his grilling paradise, well thats our dream.