The 100 Day Reality Challenge

Hi folks, I heard some bad news from my brother this morning that has stopped me in my tracks. His girlfriend's youngest son and friend of ours we've known for a few years now was blown up while on patrol with his regiment in Afghanistan yesterday. Lyndon is a handsome lad, 6'4" and only recently turned 18 years old. He had wanted to serve for ages and having reached legal age finally got deployed with his special forces regiment, the Paras, to Afghanistan a few months ago. Apparently his vehicle got hit by a roadside bomb and rolled on him. I'm told he has survived the initial blast and, fingers crossed, without major spinal injuries. They are hoping to stabilise him and fly him home today. Whatever your feelings about the war there I want to express my admiration for his courage and focus in life and his willingness to serve others and hope you'll join me in sending prayers and good wishes to him and to his mum, Sharon, that he pulls through. Thank you.

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Comment by Chris on August 28, 2008 at 4:30am
Thanks, Jensine. My brother and Sharon took 6 of the lads including Lyndon from the military hospital out for a much needed drink in the centre of Birmingham on a visit last weekend. They included three Estonian soldiers who had all lost limbs and were in a bad way, one who suffers constant nightmares, another teenage lad with a cathetar bag and no legs, a third with one good arm to hold his baby son which his girlfriend had brought over from Tallinn. Lyndon befriended them in the hospital, even sneaks out of the ward for a cigarette with one when the doctors aren't looking ;) Apparently the six of them in wheelchairs looked quite a sight charging down the high street, like something out of whacky racers! They piled up the chairs in a corner of the pub as some shocked customers made room for them. I was proud of my brother for organising it. I think its good people are confronted with a few realities of war and what we ask these lads to go through, and that they shouldn't be hidden away. On a darker note, I heard of some of the incompetent treatment Lyndon received on his initial return in the civilian hospital, including undiagnosed injuries, abuse from family members of muslim patients and potentially dangerous treatment while his back was not immobilised and frankly I find it hard not to feel anger. He wanted to attend a wedding of a friend from his engineering regiment last week and refused a wheelchair so he could stand throughout the ceremony, in a back brace. He was in constant pain, Sharon said. Well it turns out he had three undiagnosed fractures and a herniated disc that may yet end his career in the Paras, something the Taliban couldnt quite achieve. I don't know yet if they'll sue but someone needs to be accountable for treatment, as we all expect better than that. He's now flat on his back again for another month - after one doctor admitted their mistake. Let's hope this is part of some bigger plan for him and that things go more smoothly from now on. I feel the need to focus on something light so no more updates for a while but thank you for those who sent good wishes, I have past them on.
Comment by Jensine on August 26, 2008 at 8:06pm
Hi Chris........

Just back from Turkey and saw your news. So sorry to hear about your friend, but wow it sounds like he's making a great recovery! A friend of ours lost his leg in Afghanistan last year when he stepped on a mine and he amazes me in his courage and ability to make the best of things.

These "boys" are incredible!!!!

Best wishes,

Comment by Missy on August 17, 2008 at 12:29am
My prayers go out to all those brave people over there. You know my dad who was retired military always said "You may disagree with a war but always support the soldiers. Because they are not the one who give the orders they are the brave souls that have the courage to follow them." Funny thing was he never considered himself corageous or even special. His words were true though.
Comment by Maya Z. on August 16, 2008 at 2:20am
Oh Chris - I just read about it.

I am sending love and support to everyone.

I am Israeli and even though I am a leftist when it comes to the soldiers that fight for my country they are my brothers and sisters - so it doesn't matter whether you agree or not with the war. These are your people and you feel their pain. In my case - I tend to feel the pain of everyone involved - no one wins in a war...

Again - sending much love and support,

Comment by Susan on August 5, 2008 at 8:28am
Thank you for the update. I think of Lyndon and all his family each day. Am glad to hear that there is progress and the idea of 'one step at a time' is absolutely correct. Will hold a clear vision of him healed, healthy and happy.
Deep peace to you all
Comment by Chris on August 5, 2008 at 7:00am
I hear via Sharon, who is still at the military hospital with Lyndon that he's recovering from the worst of the surgeries and remains immobilised in a body cast whilst his back heals - I'm not clear on what degree of mobility he'll get back yet but one step at a time. It will be good to hear of him walking next month when he's finally up and about.
Comment by Sherry Frachey on July 28, 2008 at 12:44pm
Love and prayers for you all. Glad to hear that recovery is coming. I will continue to pray for the deep woundedness. Keep us posted.
Comment by Aleta on July 24, 2008 at 12:07am
Ohhh my much love, prayer, hope to Lyndon, Sharon, your brother, you and all the family and friends...ohhh honey...I know all our hearts are with you and yours....
Comment by Megan on July 23, 2008 at 8:00am
OMG-that is so TRAGIC!!!!!!! Lots of love to the family and of course, Lyndon xxxxxx
Comment by Chris on July 22, 2008 at 12:21am
That's really kind of you, Andie, I just heard Lyndon's back is broken but fortunately his spine is okay so looks like in time he'll make a good recovery. There are a number of young men on his neuro ward not so lucky and my heart goes out to them. What times we live in, heh? x


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