A Full Recovery : Blog Of The Nation The cover of the Summer 2009 issue of On Patrol stops me in my tracks.
NPR logo A Full Recovery

A Full Recovery

Reproduced with permission.

Speaking of publications a little off the beaten path, one that comes to me is On Patrol, the magazine of the USO. I'm not sure how I got on this particular subscription list, but the fledgling publication's second issue has the cover reproduced above, and it's arresting. I can't walk by it without reading it. It's a letter that was written by a wounded Navy SEAL, displayed on the door of his hospital room while he recovered. In case the image above isn't big enough, it reads:


To all who enter here

If you are coming into this room with sorrow or to feel sorry for my wounds, go elsewhere. The wounds I received, I got in a job I love, doing it for people I love, supporting the freedom of a country I deeply love. I am incredibly tough and will make a full recovery. What is full? That is the absolute utmost physically my body has the ability to recover. Then I will push that about 20% further through sheer mental tenacity. This room you are about to enter is a room of fun, optimism, and intense rapid regrowth. If you are not prepared for that, GO ELSEWHERE.

The letter has since been donated to the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. The Summer issue isn't up yet online, but you can find the Spring edition here.