2008-04-18 / Letters

Kindness In Rockaway And Breezy

Dear Editor,

I am a fifteen year Army veteran who was severely injured in Iraq on the 5th of January 2006. I have been at Walter Reed undergoing surgeries and rehab ever since. I ended up losing my right leg, but the real struggle has been in trying to keep my left leg. I have had numerous surgeries on it and had given up hope and planned on amputating it. Then Flip Mullen from Rockaway got involved and ended up putting me in touch with Dr. John Kennedy from the Hospital for Special Surgeries there in New York. After a lot of organization and more paperwork than anyone should ever have to fill out, I got scheduled for surgery on the 21st of December! Flip and Rita opened their home to my entire family (my wife, Mollie; my fourteen-year-old daughter, Brittany; and my four-year-old son Xander and I) without a moment of hesitation. We were nervous about being there through Christmas because we didn't want to put an extra burden on them when they should be spending time with their family. They were more than wonderful. We really felt like part of the family. As if that wasn't enough, the Rockaway community came out in full force to ensure we had a wonderful Christmas for our kids! We couldn't believe it. The love and support I felt there really helped put my mind at ease about having the surgery done during the holiday season. I've never seen an entire community come together and help a perfect stranger before. The fire and police departments helped us get to my appointments and brought us food while I was in the hospital. Flip's neighbors helped keep the kids busy and Christmas was amazing. The kids had so much fun. All my surgeries have been very difficult on my family, especially my wife, but it was different this time. There were so many great people that did so many wonderful things to help us out that it would take me weeks to name them all. Mollie and I just really want the entire community to know how much all the love and support mean to us, not only then but every time we come back to the area for follow-up visits. We look forward to each and every visit to NYC because of the wonderful people of Rockaway and Breezy. On behalf of my family, I would like to extend our deepest, heartfelt thank you to all!

SSG JOHN A. BORDERS

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