29 August 2005

Where's Noah?

"There he is!", said Tim, pointing.

From left: Tim, Willie, Noah, and me.

Last week we found out from Noah’s Mom at Soldier’s Mom and Matt at Blackfive that Noah had been injured in a VBIED attack in Iraq.

It was now Saturday, and we'd been trying to track down Noah for two days. The day before at LRMC we were told he was at the Kleber outpatient barracks about 15 minutes from the hospital. This afternoon at Kleber they told us he had been sent back to the outpatient barracks adjacent to LRMC.

We had spent most of the afternoon visiting the outpatients at Kleber and by 6pm we were getting anxious. Today was our last chance to find Noah, and it was getting late. I put in a call and got connected to Noah's room. His roommate Tim answered the phone. Being the good guy that he is, Tim took my number and said he would give Noah the message. "He's gone over to the hospital, not sure how long he'll be gone." We waited until 6.30 and then decided to just drive over to LRMC and take our chances.

When we got to the Post gate and called again, there was no answer at Noah's and Tim's room. Willie decided it was time to throw ourselves at the mercy of the guards. Well, Angels are truly everywhere because one of the guards offered to drive over to the barracks, find Tim, and bring him back to sign us in. 15 minutes later we're driving through Post with Tim (did I mention he’s a good guy?). Our plan was to wait for Noah in the lounge of the barracks.

After all this action, Tim and I needed a smoke before going in. It was then that Tim spotted Noah across the street on his way back from the hospital. Willie and I saw a figure with a neck brace in a wheelchair and began waving and yelling like a couple of idiots.

Noah waved back, popped a wheelie, barrelled across the street (narrowly missing a passing vehicle), down the parking lot, came to a screeching halt in front of us and jumped out of the wheelchair.

Ok, I exaggerate a bit. But if you've ever met Noah, you'll understand.

"We're from Soldiers' Angels, and Mom sent us!", we said and gave him a big hug. Then we gave him the backpack, a Soldiers’ Angels coin, and the Teddy Bear we brought.

It was a warm summer evening so we hung out in front of the barracks with Noah, talking and smoking. Another soldier was grilling on the BBQ, and others wandered in and out for a smoke and a chat.

Noah talked about the attack... and about the hospital in Iraq and the medevac flight to Germany. He told us about his buddy, whom he had been visiting over at the hospital. We talked about his treatment and his prognosis. He removed the brace and showed us the swelling on his neck. We examined the stitches on his head. We talked about skateboarding and girls. We asked when he last called Mom ;-)

It was almost 8.30pm now, and time for us to get back to Kleber. As we left we turned around for one last look and there was Noah, pushing his wheelchair with the backpack and the Teddy Bear towards the door of the barracks.

Soldier’s Mom has an update – she’s coming to Germany.

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