Sunday, May 25, 2014

Fallen comrade's family helps wounded Iraq War veteran reconnect

Fallen comrade's family helps wounded Iraq War veteran reconnect
Tampa Bay Times
John Romano
Times Columnist
Saturday, May 24, 2014

They took his leg. In the context of saving his life while a ruptured femoral artery spewed blood across the ceiling of the Walter Reed Medical Center, it seemed a small price to pay. But how do you explain that to a broken soldier? A pep talk and a prosthesis just don't seem like enough.

So began Brian Taylor Urruela's journey to the rest of his life. He hobbled away from the Army. From his hometown, too. He said goodbye to his family and every thought resembling emotion. The past felt like nothing but pain, and he was hellbent on leaving it all behind. That included the little boy. The one who looked just like the friend he'd been trying to forget.

What Urruela failed to realize during all of this was that the past doesn't always have to hurt. Sometimes it can heal.

Here is your Memorial Day picture: A mother, a child and an ex-infantryman walking side by side to a neighborhood park in South Tampa. As the holiday implies, the image is significant for the one who is missing.

Maj. David G. Taylor was killed by a roadside bomb outside Baghdad in 2006. He left behind a wife, Michelle, and an infant son, Jake, whom he'd forever kissed goodbye at 2 weeks old. He also left the four men who were riding with him on patrol that hot October afternoon. Another major whose arm was nearly destroyed, and a bodyguard who lost a leg. A gunner who lost both legs. And Cpl. Urruela.
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