Marine Injured At Kabul, Still Paralyzed
Marine Injured At Kabul, Still Paralyzed
On August 26, 2021, a suicide bomber attacked Kabul Airport. There were thirteen military personnel killed in the attack. There were fifteen injured severely enough to require a stay at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. One of them, Marine Corporal Kelsee Lainhart has left Walter Reed to continue her rehabilitation in Chicago.
Do you all remember the anger you felt before the Hamid Karzai Airport attack in Kabul? Anger at the dementia-addled old man in the White House and the Perfumed Princes of the Pentagon. They gave up hard won ground in the name of ending “America’s Longest War”. We hadn’t been at war in Afghanistan in a couple of years, so that was always bovine excrement. If having a base in a country counts as still being at war, Germany and Japan win those dubious honors.
It doesn’t really matter why Creepy, Sleepy Joe, SecDef Lloyd Austin, Chairman Mark Milley and the entire State Department decided to screw the pooch at Kabul, they clustered it all over Hell and half of Georgia. My neighborhood book club would have organized the “retrograde” better with no loss of U.S. lives. Thirteen military personnel killed and 15 wounded is inexcusable. All of those who failed in planning the retrograde have blood on their hands.
We have all moved on to the next shiny object. I am no different. Kyle Rittenhouse is innocent. The cretins who killed Ahmaud Arbery should spend life in the Graybar Motel. But, the families of the wounded in the Kabul Massacre don’t have the luxury of moving on.
Marine Corporal Kelsee Lainhart was a 2019 graduate of East Central High School, Dearborn County, Indiana. She went right into the Marines and was friends with Marine Sergeant Nicole Gee, one of the Marines killed. They were both at Abbey Gate when the bomb went off.
The New York Times interviewed two Marine officers from Ghost Company which manned the Abbey Gate. Here is the description of that day from one of them:
The scene was hellish. He heard gunfire, and saw Marines dragging their wounded. In recalling what happened, Captain Ball seemed to be insisting that people understand what his Marines did. “Corporal Wyatt Wilson, one of the most severely wounded Marines, is going to take shrapnel from his ankle, all the way up the side of his body through his jaw,” he said, then pauses to gather himself. “He’s going to get thrown by the blast, and he is going to land near another wounded Marine, in the CS gas, with injuries that are so severe, he is pulse-less when he gets to the airport’s trauma facility later.”
“In 30 minutes he is going to have his chest cut open, his heart massaged and tied off” by a military doctor, Captain Ball continued, with effort. But before all that, Corporal Wilson tried to make sure others got help. He dragged the wounded Marine, 19-year-old Corporal Kelsee Lainhart, to the fence, 65 feet away. “He is going to wave help away, deny treatment himself, and be like, take this Marine, and then he’s going to crawl his way to the casualty collection point all the way back, so others can go save others.”
Corporal Lainhart was injured, her friend Nicole Gee was killed, and Corporal Wilson is recovering:
In a Caring Bridge blog post, Lainhart’s parents shared that Wilson helped retrieve and get her into a medevac vehicle after the explosion.
“He also sustained some serious injuries and has been recovering in the ICU. He had asked to see Kelsee once he was able to get out of bed as well. So they both made it to a chair for the first time. His parents, wife, and nurses wheeled him down to Kelsee’s room and he sat in his wheelchair outside her room as anyone entering her room needs to have protective capes and gloves. His jaws are currently wired shut so he brought a whiteboard with him to write on so they could communicate with one another. They communicated back and forth for about 15 mins. Before he left he asked if he could be wheeled in to touch her hand so we agreed and they put the gloves and cape on him so he could enter her room. It was very touching,” wrote Stacey Lainhart.
Lainhart’s parents wrote the two didn’t know each other before the bombing, but they will have a bond for life now.
Corporal Lainhart is not at a Veterans Administration hospital. She is recovering at the Shirley Ryan Center in Chicago. The company her uncle works for, Basco Shower Door, recently had a fundraiser for all the expenses Lainhart will have during and after her recovery:
Corporal Lainhart plans to walk again:
I received an update last night on U.S. Marine Kelsee Lainhart. I’ve thought of little else since. Kelsee was at Abbey Gate at Hamid Karzai International Airport on 26 Aug 2021. She is now paralyzed from the waist down. Her one wish was for a service dog. https://t.co/yWvMAFjVC2 pic.twitter.com/fRwGSy8B7t
— Jack Carr (@JackCarrUSA) November 12, 2021
We all move on, but we can never forget those killed and wounded in Kabul because of incompetence and a complete disregard for human life.
Featured Image: Department of Defense/cropped/Public Domain