On the occasion of the "one year mark" of Andy's wounding, I thought I'd answer the oft-asked question of "How is he doing?"
I never know quite how to answer that question. I know people want to hear "he's doing good" so we can all move on but I don't say that. Maybe it's still too early for the new definition of "doing good" to be clear yet. Every day presents new challenges and life is at a different pace than before. Andy's relatively healthy, he's home in Texas, living with Daniel. Being confined to a wheelchair has altered his methods, but not him. He's still fiercly independent. He's drives his outfitted truck off-road and on, and there's hardly ever a quiet moment at his house--he has friends and family around all the time. He's acquired a new tatoo. Last week he took a little neighbor boy to VBS at the church. I'm pretty sure the little boy thinks "Mr Andy" sits at the right hand of the Father. Life goes on and he does with it what he wants.
Andy's always been the kind of person who moved mountains by the sheer force of his will. That hasn't changed. He's still stubborn as heck and that will carry him--it always has. He's still in the Army, so he still reports to a duty station at the Armory on a limited basis. He misses the brothers of Chosen and he misses actively being "Doc". He's supremely frustrated by the currrent administration and he gets pissy when people assume he was wounded in Iraq. I don't know...how is he? He's home. Nobody's shooting at him in real life. He suffers the bit of publicity that his past has earned him with modesty, embarrasment and a tiny bit of contempt. He says there are certainly other, more important heroes to honor. He was amused at the notion of "Andy Burnett Day". He's has taken day trips to Dallas and an overnighter to Oklahoma to see our sister. Driving is his freedom. He doesn't like to talk about the serious things--or more precisely, not with the girls (mom, Deb, me). He whines like a girl when someone does things for him like fold the laundry.
All I really know is he's working hard and we would expect no less. And that on this, just like every other one, I love him deeply and miss him.
(Thanks Cory for the photos.)