I live in San Antonio. My home is perhaps 5 miles from the military’s premier burn center at Ft. Sam Houston, Texas. And, as most readers know, I am an Iraq vet. So, the article by Scott Stroud regarding the burn unit resonates with me. See San Antonio Express News story. It is a moving account written by a captain in the unit. The medical folks at Ft. Sam endure their own combat stress treating those of us who get injured in the two wars.
It is the nature of the two wars and a reflection of our improved care that we will see many burn victims. You will see them. They will have disfigured skin all over their body. They require constant care for the rest of their lives. My son recoils when he sees these victims. But, when I see them, i see brave soldiers. One young sergeant came to my church there at Ft. Sam most Sundays with his wife and three children. It is hard to judge age when the skin is so disfigured, but I guessed him to be in late 30’s, perhaps a Sergeant First Class. The children seemed happy, his wife always smiling. He left the Army after a few months and moved to San Diego. I am sure he received a disability retirement. In my eyes, he had no disability.
Remember our brothers and sisters who have suffered horribly. Be respectful when you see a man or woman with disfigured skin. They may have given up their "good looks" for you and I.