Sgt. Collin Raaz
Wounded Warrior Unit
34800 Bob Wilson Drive
San Diego, CA 92134
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Marine Sgt. Collin Raaz from Iowa City was a few years behind my son in high school and brother of a classmate. He was deployed to Afghanistan during the same period that Tyler was there. He was severely injured earlier this year in June, during his deployment, and I'm posting an update from a mutual friend, with permission to repost. Kudos to Collin for his great attitude and progress! We look forward to hearing reading more!
It has been too long since I have updated you all on our friend Sgt. Collin Raaz. Sorry, but things for him moved pretty slowly there for awhile, until now. He continues to heal and is making great progress with his PT. And he is walking!!!
I am attaching a photo that his Mom, Julie, sent me today (below) - of him climbing a rock wall on his 1st pair of prosthetic legs. She showed me some video as well of him the 1st day he tried on his "stubbies," as the prosthetic legs are called. It brought me to tears; he was walking right away and barely had to use the hand rails to steady himself. I am so proud of him and all he has accomplished since June 15, 2011.
Collin is now in the Wounded Warrior Unit at the address below (still at the Naval Hospital complex in San Diego). He is in his own dorm-like room with an adjoining room for visitors to stay. His parents are still taking turns going out to stay with him. He is able to get himself around pretty well and is swimming and working hard in PT each day. He will be taking a test to learn to drive his car with adaptive hand gears & he soon hopes to "graduate" to legs with a knee so he can bend. He told us that he was so excited to walk outside...then realized that he dropped something and could not pick it up because he could not bend down. What we take for granted, huh? Collin seems to show no signs of (PTSD) Post Tramatic Stress Disorder-thank goodness- and he is keeping his thoughts positive-moving towards the future.
Collin is somewhat of a "celebrity" at the Wounded Warrior program. He was recommended by the medical staff (and he accepted) to have a local newspaper in San Diego (the San Diego Sign On) do an 8 part story on him...from injury to recovery. The photographers & writers have been with him at PT, doing interviews, etc. They will run the piece in late Dec. each Sunday for 8 weeks. It will also be on-line, so I will send a link out and notice when it comes out. Pretty cool, we think!!
We are hopeful the local papers (The Gazette, Iowa City Press-Citizen, and Des Moines Register) will pick up on this story, too.
If you would like to drop Collin a card, I know he would appreciate it. With Veteran's Day coming soon, I can't help but think of all those wounded men and women veteran's-let alone those that lost their lives in these wars the past 10 years.
Thank you for your continued thoughts and prayers to our boy!!