Sick, Ghoulish People

From Holden:

Damn, I hate the Bushes.

President George W. Bush and first lady Laura Bush personally awarded a Purple Heart to a former Idaho high school track star who lost both his legs in an explosion in Iraq.

Marine Cpl. Travis Greene, who graduated from Twin Falls High School in 1999 and was given a track scholarship to Boise State University, received the medal last week at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., where he is being treated.


[Cpl. Greene’s father] said nurses adjusted his son’s pain medication before the president’s visit.

“They turned down Travis’ medicine so he could be awake,” Terry Greene said in a phone interview with The Times-News of Twin Falls.


Travis Greene has had more than 100 blood transfusions since being wounded in Iraq.

“He’s had surgeries every other day and it’s taken a toll on the man,” Terry Greene said. “He’s had emergency surgery twice at his bedside because he was too unstable to move. The doctors tell us he is the most critical patient on the intensive care unit. He’s a fighter. He’s getting through these things, but it’s taken its toll.”

Terry Greene said his son is still on a ventilator and will probably have to go on dialysis soon because of the strain on his kidneys.

The 24-year-old, in his third tour of duty in Iraq, was part of a team of Marines who on Dec. 7 were evacuating other Marines who had been injured in an explosion. During that effort, a second explosion occurred. Three other Marines and one Navy corpsman also lost one or both of their legs in the blast. Two were badly burned.


The Greenes said it’s difficult to see their athlete son without legs in a hospital bed.

“You sit here day after day and you go in and see him and it’s kind of depressing,” Sue Greene said. “We have our moments. When the doctors talk pretty frank to you, it’s a hard pill to swallow.”