Unbreakable Bonds: The Mighty Moms and Wounded Warriors of Walter Reed/Dava Guerin and Kevin Ferris

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Just the other day, in a coffee shop not far from home, I was talking with one of those wise women who know nearly everything and everyone in our dear city. When we got around to Kevin Ferris, assistant editor with the Editorial Board of the Philadelphia Inquirer, the conversation stopped. "Really kind," we both said, at nearly the same time. "And really smart."

Ferris's compassion and integrity are on keen display in his first book, co-authored with Dava Guerin and soon to be released by Skyhorse Publishing. Called Unbreakable Bonds: The Mighty Moms and Wounded Warriors of Walter Reed (with forewords by President George H.W. Bush and Connie Morella), the book brings to life ten mothers who received the terrifying news of a child's war-related injuries. Limbs have been lost, lives rearranged, families restructured. Suddenly home is a room in a hospital called Walter Reed. Suddenly community is the other mothers who must be stronger than the grief that rushes in. Suddenly dinner is the candy bar left by someone who cares, and hope is the pair of eyes that finally open.

"Mothers' bonds with their children are undeniable," the authors remind us, continuing:
They feel their pain, relish their accomplishments, and look forward to them having young ones of their own. They are the first line of defense against bullies, recalcitrant teachers, colds and sore throats, and a myriad of real and perceived enemies during childhood. They share their lives with other moms on the soccer field, at PTA meetings, and during lunch breaks at work. But as they arrive at Walter Reed to support sons and daughters who have lost limbs, or suffered traumatic brain injuries, or burns and internal wounds, these moms join an exclusive club, a members-only organization that exists simply to assuage the horrors of war.
The nurses, the physicians—they are doing what they can. But being there, seeing the recovery through, helping a reconfigured child love and feel loved again—that is mother's work, and like so much of what mothers do, it is uncompensated and invisible and wholly essential.

These ten stories are specific and true. They are also representational, reminding readers of those who have gone to fight on our behalf—and of the endless costs of battles, minefields, inhumane technologies.

And so, congratulations to Kevin and Dava on the release of their new book. And thank you, Wounded Warriors and the moms who are there for you.


2 comments:

Priscilla Warren said...

I am not a mighty Mom, but I was very close from a motherly perspective with a wounded warrior I worked with, who took his life in Apr 2012, for which I still question whether I was there for him. Every day I ask myself what I could have done for him that I did not.

Priscilla Warren said...

I am not a mighty Mom, but I was very close from a motherly perspective with a wounded warrior I worked with, who took his life in Apr 2012, for which I still question whether I was there for him. Every day I ask myself what I could have done for him that I did not.

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