Why? What for?

An article, excerpted over at First Draft:
President George W. Bush and first lady Laura Bush personally awarded a Purple Heart to a former Idaho high school track star who lost both his legs in an explosion in Iraq.

Marine Cpl. Travis Greene, who graduated from Twin Falls High School in 1999 and was given a track scholarship to Boise State University, received the medal last week at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., where he is being treated.


[Cpl. Greene’s father] said nurses adjusted his son’s pain medication before the president’s visit.

“They turned down Travis’ medicine so he could be awake,” Terry Greene said in a phone interview with The Times-News of Twin Falls.


Travis Greene has had more than 100 blood transfusions since being wounded in Iraq.

“He’s had surgeries every other day and it’s taken a toll on the man,” Terry Greene said. “He’s had emergency surgery twice at his bedside because he was too unstable to move. The doctors tell us he is the most critical patient on the intensive care unit. He’s a fighter. He’s getting through these things, but it’s taken its toll.”

Terry Greene said his son is still on a ventilator and will probably have to go on dialysis soon because of the strain on his kidneys.

The 24-year-old, in his third tour of duty in Iraq, was part of a team of Marines who on Dec. 7 were evacuating other Marines who had been injured in an explosion. During that effort, a second explosion occurred. Three other Marines and one Navy corpsman also lost one or both of their legs in the blast. Two were badly burned.


The Greenes said it’s difficult to see their athlete son without legs in a hospital bed.

“You sit here day after day and you go in and see him and it’s kind of depressing,” Sue Greene said. “We have our moments. When the doctors talk pretty frank to you, it’s a hard pill to swallow.”

The Discussion: 9 Comments

Sick exploitation for political purposes. Someone should cut Bush’s legs off – forget the heart – he doesn’t have one.

December 28, 2005 @ 4:02 am | Comment

With all due respect, Richard is exploiting Greene for political purposes as far as I’m concerned, too.

December 28, 2005 @ 6:23 am | Comment

Allow me to amend that statement.

Actually, the NY Times are the ones exploiting Greene for their own political agenda. Richard is simply following along.

December 28, 2005 @ 6:27 am | Comment

Exploiting? By telling a story of mutilation for no purpose? You answer my question if you think it was exploitative: Why? What for? To give Iran control of Iraq? Is that worth having your body and your life shattered? Sorry, but people need to know that beneath Bush’s ever-rosy and upbeat bullshit lie 2,160 stories of unspeakable misery, all for shrub’s ego, all for nothing. I’m waiting for you to answer the simple questions.

December 28, 2005 @ 6:40 am | Comment

Richard, any time the President or any other politician has their photo taken it’s for political purposes and the photo op with Greene is no different, but your nagging on the story is no different because you’re using it to futher your agenda at the exact opposite of the spectrum.

You don’t know Greene any better than the President does. If you are so concerned about the 2,160 other stories, why aren’t you writing about them?

Why? What for? To give Iran control of Iraq? Is that worth having your body and your life shattered?

Oh my gosh! Who would have ever expected that volunteering for military service might actually require one to fight in combat?

And yes, it would be a grave mistake to let Iraq fall into the hands of Iran.

December 28, 2005 @ 8:05 am | Comment

Well, too late Gordon, I think the US invasion of Iraq has placed it firmly in Iran’s sights – at least the Shi’ite portion.

December 28, 2005 @ 12:13 pm | Comment

Unfortunately Lisa, it looks like you’re probably right. I hate to say it, but I think George will probably go after them next.

December 28, 2005 @ 2:06 pm | Comment

Ugh. What a disaster THAT will be! I mean, with what army? Our reserves and national guard are broken. They’ll have to just claim “mission accomplished” in Iraq, regardless of what the situation is there, and pull the troops out to use them elsewhere.

What an unmitigated disaster. I feel like I’ve witnessed the worst foreign policy decision in my nation’s recent history, and that it’s just going to get worse.

December 28, 2005 @ 3:24 pm | Comment

Maybe Greene joined the military out of a sense of misguided patriotism, like the late Patrick Tillman, the former NFL player killed by friendly fire. Maybe he needed money to pay for college. Either way, it is a waste of human life, just like every military and civilian casualty in Iraq.

December 29, 2005 @ 7:31 pm | Comment

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