That was the night my world changed forever
Recently, I made a new friend. Her name is Jenny and she was referred to me by a Vet Center friend. She lost her granddaughter to suicide as a result of PTSD and meds one year ago. Her granddaughter’s name is Sara Leatherman. Sara served in the United States Army as a medic and was deployed to Iraq. Today, April 11th, is Sara’s birthday. She would have been 26, and we both agreed to have cake tonight in her honor.
I met Jenny today for lunch after she returned from visiting Sara’s grave site at the cemetery. I asked her if I could post a writing of Sara’s. She agreed, so here are Sara’s words:
“It was September 12th 2006. This night seemed like any of the 100′s of nights I had been in Iraq. People were out on convoy, others were working the aid station. It was nearing the time I had to get start getting ready for guard duty which pissed me off because no other medics in other units pulled guard duty. As I was getting all my gear together I got the news one of our convoys had been hit, it spread though the company like wildfire. I sat there racking my brain trying to think of who went out that night. I knew some of our medics had, but who? I was pissed because we were running those gravel missions. Yet, I couldn’t think who went out that night. Then I saw my roommate walking up, it was the time of night where the sun had just set so you could still see. I was the one who told her our convoy got hit. Instant panic set in to this young kid. She knew who was on that convoy. My best friend Johnson, another good friend Truesdale, and LT Perez. She was in a state of shock just for a moment, then all of her emotions flowed out and she was a mess. I knew I had to take care of her, but I also knew I had to leave I couldn’t be late for guard duty. So as quickly as I could I threw on all my gear and grabbed her. I took her to my other friends and explained the situation, handed her off and took off sprinting, gravel crunching under each hit of my boot. I made it to duty. Then it seem as if time slowed. Minutes seemed like hours. They were getting the news of what truck and who was in it. LT Perez KIA. I couldn’t be emotional, I had duty. Finally I got to the tower I was assigned for my eight hour shift. I was emotionally numb and trying to be vigilant. I could feel the coolness of the night through my body armor. It seemed almost fitting, but then the female I was on duty with broke down. I didn’t even know this girl and here I was taking care of someone else. When my shift was over I had never been so glad to be out of uniform and sleep. That was the night my world changed forever.”
RIP Sara Leatherman your family misses you.