Sunday, January 01, 2006

Bush's Funny New Year

A year ago, in January of 2005, the United States Army opened it's second Amputee Center at Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, Texas (link).

Since 2001, out of close to 17,000 wounded in total, about two-and-a-half percent wind up as amputees. Along with Brooke's burn and trauma units the hospital treated more than 2,300 wounded in 2005 (link).

President Bush spoke to the press on New Year's Day from Brooke Army Medical Center (transcript) and joked about a "little scratch" he had suffered:

Happy New Year to you all. Thanks. I can't think of a better way to start 2006 then here at this fantastic hospital -- a hospital that's full of healers and compassionate people who care deeply about our men and women in uniform. It's also full of courageous young soldiers, Marines, airmen -- men and women who are serving our country and making great sacrifice. I'm just overwhelmed by the great strength of character of not only those who have been wounded, but of their loved ones, as well. And so, thank you all for bringing great credit to our country.

As you can possibly see, I have an injury myself -- not here at the hospital, but in combat with a Cedar. I eventually won. The Cedar gave me a little scratch. As a matter of fact, the Colonel asked if I needed first aid when she first saw me. I was able to avoid any major surgical operations here, but thanks for your compassion, Colonel.

Those were the first two paragraphs of his remarks. I included the first one so as not to be accused of taking the second one out of context.

I hope the President recovers from his "little scratch."

Oprah Winfrey did a show on the Brooke Army Medical Center and there's pictures of some of the brave men and women recovering from their lifelong wounds (link). I wonder if Oprah joked about a "little scratch" when she visited the troops there.


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