Jay Reding.com

Patriotism Defined

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune has an amazing piece on Jessica Charyer, the former Minneapolis Aquatennial Queen who not only survived a life-threatening medical condition, but is going to Iraq to be with the other members of her unit:

Despite her determination to recover, she continued to experience intense pain and decided she couldn’t deploy. Because she was scheduled to be in Iraq for a year, her doctors initially offered her a prescription for a year supply of a powerful painkiller. She refused and insisted on more tests.

Charyer, 23, underwent a second surgery early last month, this time to remove scar tissue. Her unit headed to Iraq without her. She made plans to join them later and now expects to leave for Iraq in a few days.

“I’m ready to head over and meet up with my unit,” she said. “Before I even go over there, they teasingly say, I have the battle wounds, but I really think it has made me a stronger person.”

Somehow, I get the feeling she was plenty strong to begin with.

Mrs. Charyer’s dedication to her unit and the service of her country is an example for us all, military or civilian. Our country is incredibly fortunate to have young men and women with the courage of Jessica Charyer.