Monday, June 25, 2007

Joseph Briseno Jr

He lies flat, unseeing eyes fixed on the ceiling, tubes and machines feeding him, breathing for him, keeping him alive. He cannot walk or talk, but he can grimace and cry. And he is fully aware of what has happened to him.

Four years ago almost to this day, Joseph Briseno Jr. was shot in the back of the head at point-blank range in a Baghdad marketplace. His spinal cord was shattered, and cardiac arrests stole his vision and damaged his brain.


From Germany, he went to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, then to McGuire VA Medical Center in Richmond, Virginia. In December 2003, he went home, to Manassas Park, Virginia, where his parents, Joseph Sr. and Eva, quit their jobs to care for him.

"All our savings, all our money, was just emptied ... the 401(k)s, everything," said Joseph Briseno, who took a new job a year and a half ago to make ends meet.

Go ahead, keep putting those stupid yellow stickers on your SUV. Everything will be OK so long as somebody else pays the price in blood.



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