When he was young in his country of birth
His loving mother would tell her friends
This day my son took his first steps
And the next day he would
Try again and take two more
And within a short amount of time
In a year that seems like forever ago
He was walking toward me
One step, five, ten steps.
The father wanted to pursue
Some of his own dreams
For higher education and
To provide a happy life
For his family
And brought them to our country.
They learned our culture
They made the most of it
They pocketed our Constitution
They became like us
Our neighbors, co-workers, friends
Exactly as some of our ancestors
Who were immigrants
To the land of the free
The home of the brave
The place most of us
Take for granted.
In time, this son took more steps
As an American
Learned from his parents
How to care for others around him
In high school helped disabled children
Learn to swim
Learned from the Army recruiter
How he could further give back
Could become a soldier, himself
Law school could wait as he would
Offer a few years to the country
Where he had walked and grown.
The young soldier served his tour
And was set to serve another
And traveled to what is referred to as
“The cradle of civilization”
To fulfill his wartime duties
And his parents asked him
To stay home where he had once been
And always would be
Cradled in their loving embrace.
He said he had to go.
Our young Muslim soldier had to go.
He had to support his troops
He had to go.
One day a challenge occurred
And he looked it in the eye
To save the Muslims on one side of the wall
And to save his troops on the other
He held up his hand and
Marched into battle alone
He marched into battle
They say he took ten steps
And saved everyone
Hearing the story we
Can only ask ourselves
How many of us
Would have had
As we sit and learn of his life
Of his parents’ grief and our country’s loss
One thing we know for sure
He believed in a God who would welcome him
If he lived a good life
A good and civil life
And if his constitution stayed strong
One thing we can imagine at the end
As his parents grieved and
Temporarily gave him up
Our Muslim Soldier heard the
Invitation into heaven
And it was a voice calling out to him
Or it was a feeling he got
That it was time to take
Those last ten steps
And he would indeed
Be home again.
U.S. Army Captain Humayun Khan
Our Muslim Soldier
President Barack Obama presents a Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry to Army Captain Florent A. Groberg (Ret.) during a ceremony at the White House. Captain Groberg received the Medal of Honor for attempting to push a suicide bomber away from harming his patrol while serving as a Personal Security Detachment Commander for Task Force Mountain Warrior, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division during combat operations in Asadabad, Kunar Province, Afghanistan on August 8, 2012. He was severely injured from his courageous actions
This is an American hero: Capt. Groberg put it all on the line for his team. On his worst day, he gave us his best. https://t.co/WdWAPswJpE
Today: President Obama greets Sergeant First Class Cory Remsburg, alongside his father Craig, during a visit to Remsburg’s new home in Gilbert, Arizona (Photo by Doug Mills)
Washington Post (2013): They were introduced near Omaha Beach in France in 2009, when Sergeant Remsburg was part of a select Army Ranger group chosen to re-enact a parachute drop for celebrations of the 65th anniversary of the D-Day landings in World War II.
Four months later, on Oct. 1 2009, Sergeant Remsburg was face down in a canal near Kandahar, thrown by the force of a quarter-ton roadside bomb, shrapnel penetrating his brain and right eye. He spent the next three months in a coma, through operations at military hospitals in Afghanistan, Germany and Bethesda, Md., outside Washington. Through the winter of 2010, he was at a veterans’ hospital in Tampa, Fla., where he slowly regained consciousness. In April 2010, he returned to Bethesda for surgery to rebuild his skull.
Their second meeting came less than a year later at a military hospital outside Washington, where Mr. Obama was stunned to see among the wounded troops from Afghanistan a familiar young man — now brain-damaged, a track of fresh stitches across his skull, and partly paralyzed…..
…. the President came for his annual physical and to visit patients. Entering a hospital room, he saw a photo on the wall — of himself and Sergeant Remsburg in Normandy — and did a double take, looking at the broken man lying there, and again at the strapping soldier in the frame.
“Cory still couldn’t speak, but he looked me in the eye,” the president said later. “He lifted his arm, and he shook my hand firmly. And when I asked how he was feeling, he held up his hand, pulled his fingers together and gave a thumbs up.”
The third meeting was in a private visit in Phoenix, where Sergeant Remsburg did something that neither Mr. Obama nor military doctors would once have predicted: he stood up and saluted his commander in chief.
There was more. Grasping his walker, “Cory took a step, then another, and then another,” Mr. Obama said later, “all the way across the room.”
In 2014, Sgt Remsburg was a guest of the President at the State of the Union
“I first met Cory Remsburg, a proud Army Ranger, at Omaha Beach on the 65th anniversary of D-Day. Along with some of his fellow Rangers, he walked me through the program – a strong, impressive young man, with an easy manner, sharp as a tack. We joked around, and took pictures, and I told him to stay in touch.
A few months later, on his tenth deployment, Cory was nearly killed by a massive roadside bomb in Afghanistan. His comrades found him in a canal, face down, underwater, shrapnel in his brain.
For months, he lay in a coma. The next time I met him, in the hospital, he couldn’t speak; he could barely move. Over the years, he’s endured dozens of surgeries and procedures, and hours of grueling rehab every day.
Even now, Cory is still blind in one eye. He still struggles on his left side. But slowly, steadily, with the support of caregivers like his dad Craig, and the community around him, Cory has grown stronger. Day by day, he’s learned to speak again and stand again and walk again – and he’s working toward the day when he can serve his country again.
“My recovery has not been easy,” he says. “Nothing in life that’s worth anything is easy.”
Cory is here tonight. And like the Army he loves, like the America he serves, Sergeant First Class Cory Remsburg never gives up, and he does not quit.”
Army Ranger Sgt. First Class Cory Remsburg is applauded by his father Craig Remsburg, Secretary of State John Kerry, and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel during President Obama’s remarks at the 70th French-American Commemoration D-Day Ceremony at the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial in Colleville-sur-Mer, France, June 6, 2014 (Photo by Pete Souza)
AZCentral: An ongoing physical recovery, a new home custom-made for his needs – the only other thing that would really make Cory Remsburg’s day was a visit from the president.
That’s just what happened Friday afternoon … which brought the sixth meeting between the former soldier and the commander-in-chief.
After a visit to Phoenix’s VA hospital, President Obama’s motorcade took an unscheduled detour, heading toward Gilbert and pulling up in front of Remsburg’s newly remodeled home.
… As the motorcade pulled out of Gilbert, Remsburg said the visit was “Completely unexpected,” and “very cool.”
“I’m just a sergeant first class,” he said. “I’m no big deal. He’s the commander-in-chief. He’s a very big deal.”
The home came to Remsburg from Homes for Wounded Warriors, the charity started by NFL player Jared Allen. The organization aims to remodel homes for the most severely disabled veterans who served in Afghanistan and Iraq. (More here)
President Obama visits with Sgt. 1st Class Cory Remsburg and family members at his newly finished home in Gilbert, Arizona, March 13, 2015 (Photo by Pete Souza)