- Jeffrey Denning (WarriorSOS.com)
- I'm the author of four books: Warrior SOS, The Work of Death, Together Forever, and Leaders Wanted. I'm in the doc film Please Remove Your Shoes. I've blogged for The Washington Times, and I write for Guns.com. I've worked for the high-profile U.S.-led Roadmap to Mideast Peace in Israel and Palestine. I've also worked as a SWAT team leader, a Federal Air Marshal and a sole-source training instructor on a classified contract with a U.S. government customer. My master's degree is in Military Studies and terrorism. I'm a former noncommissioned and commissioned Army officer, with service in Iraq. I've been Scuba diving and skydiving; I have trained with members of the U.S. Olympic Ski Team, and I'm an FBI-trained crisis negotiator. My interests lie in helping others and in strengthening America through inspiring moral courage, government fiscal responsibility and accountability, and maintaining principles that have made--and will continue to make--the United States of America a blessed and prosperous country. I'm a father of six, a husband, and a police officer. I reside in Utah, and I'm a Mormon. See also www.WarriorSOS.com.
November 26, 2010
"It doesn't matter if you lost your legs. You're still our daddy."
Photo of Special Forces NCO John Masson taken from www.JohnMasson.com
Warrior SOS has tweeted and posted Facebook notes about John Masson. His story has finally hit the news.
Soldier who lost 3 limbs still protective of his unit
Considers first that his comments might endanger GIs in Afghanistan
November 25, 2010
BY JERRY DAVICH Post-Tribune
John Masson felt the blast as soon as he stepped onto the hidden improvised explosive device.
While serving at a classified location in Afghanistan as a U.S. Army Ranger medic, the 39-year-old Lake Station, Ind., native had just finished clearing a compound with his Special Forces unit Oct. 16.
One wrong step is all it took. Click. Boom. Darkness. Shock. Blood. Hell.
Masson, who previously served in the Gulf War and Iraq, felt himself launched into the air.
He landed hard, still in darkness. He felt around the ground with his right hand, not the one he would normally use. All he felt was blood and body parts. His left hand was gone. So were both of his legs -- one up to his hip, the other up to his knee.
"There are some things I can't tell you because my unit is still in theater in Afghanistan," Masson said last week from his hospital bed at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. "I wouldn't want to put any of the guys in danger."
This phone exchange illustrates the character and attitude of Masson, a father of three who was always the life of any party, the friend who was always there, the soldier who always had your back.
Missing three limbs, amid other serious injuries and health complications, and he's concerned about his fellow soldiers a world away.
Masson has been in the military for 15 years.
He and his wife of 18 years, Dusty, both graduated from Edison High School in Lake Station. The couple have three children.
"John loves everyone, and everyone loves him," said Kerry Paris, John's sister-in-law from Lake Station. "He is fun, outgoing, and he loves life."
But these days, Masson is in "unbearable pain," his family said, including the phantom pain many amputees deal with after the trauma of losing a limb -- not to mention three limbs.
"He won't let this hold him back or slow him down in any way," Paris said. "He is a man of great faith, and he truly knows he will walk again. We have no doubt."
Masson spoke in a telephone interview in between multiple surgeries to close his wounds, less than a month after he stepped onto that IED.
He spoke about Oct. 16. He spoke about his country, which he loves greatly. He spoke about his family, which he loves more.
Masson's parents were flown to Washington, D.C., to be near him.
His wife and children are now living with John's brother, Mike, who lives about 40 minutes away in Maryland, when they are not staying with Masson.
"Mike had actually just got home from Afghanistan on Oct. 16, the same day John stepped on the IED," Paris said.
Masson's wife and high school sweetheart, Dusty, said her husband's faith, prayers and belief in himself will carry him through this ordeal.
"John is John," said Dusty Masson, who stays with her husband almost around the clock. "If he's good, I'm good."
When Masson arrived at Walter Reed, he was leery of having his children see him without his limbs.
"We're just glad you're alive," said his 15-year-old son, Jonathan.
"It doesn't matter if you lost your legs. You're still our daddy," his daughter, Morgan, 8, told him.
"We love you," 6-year-old Ethan said.
Masson's friends and family have created a website in his honor -- www.johnmasson.com -- to help people rally around his rehab efforts and to donate to a fund for mounting bills.
"I'm amazed, appreciative and so grateful," Masson said.
To read amazing interviews with warriors, check out Warrior SOS: Interviews, Insights and Inspiration, the book on Amazon.com. Here's the link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00D3WO7VK