Saturday, November 04, 2006

cpl paul franklin - a solider's story

Saturday, November 04, 2006

The pain was excruciating.
He called it 'the most g-d awful pain you could ever imagine.'
'I've never felt anything like that and I would never give it to my worst enemies.'

and that's cpl paul franklin's description of what it felt like, when a suicide bomb in kandahar ripped off the greater part of his left leg and also ignited parts of his body. and ... after 26 surgeries, a double BKA (below the knee amputation), and several month of rehab, franklin walked on that stage, with his two prosthetic legs. he hobbled along, with his two canes, proudly wearing his uniform. and he touched the purest and most raw innard of my heart.

he denied claims that referred to him as 'hero.' he instead wishes glory for all the canadian troops fighting on the hindu kush ... and other places in afghanistan. he claims glory for himself only as a representative of canadian troops out there, fighting for canada, for what canadians hold dear. indeed, though he did not say, i would venture a guess he wishes glory for all soldiers - including the brits and americans in iraq.

paul franklin can walk only about 800 metres at a time. he doubts what he can do. he knows, in his heart of hearts, he will never run again. never run again with his 6 year old son. but, y'know something? he will try still. it touched me deeply - paul franklin touched me deeply - when he spoke of a promise made to his wife. 'i promised audra i would come home, no matter what.' and he recalls that thought keeping him from letting go, slipping away from living consciousness on the battleground, to the other side.

this man touched me. with what he said. they way in which he said it. and with his great big compassionate heart. it burst through the tv's photons. i could see it. feel it. touch it. cpl paul franklin burned with his positivism. with his bright light. and ... when asked his feelings about those who oppose the war in afghanistan, the wounded soldier gave a reply filled with wisdom, tolerance and love. and not whiney outrage, bitterness and intolerance.

it makes me think ... makes me appreciate my country.

ahhh ... my dear sweet canada -
a place which does NOT embody
the "for or against" philosophy.
tolerance ... they name is canada ... thy name is love.

[however could i think of leaving this place? my canada ... however could i think of leaving this country that my dad chose, that M chose - from the world at large they both chose canada. how could i leave? i do love it so ... even when i say i don't.]

ahh - but i digress ...

cpl paul franklin fought for what he believed in and lost his legs. instead of tending to the wounded soliders on the battleground, franklin will now live out his remaining career imparting this skill upon others. he will don that uniform ... that one that took his legs ... and teach other soldiers how to do what he did. medics - paramedics - embody even more divinity and grace than do nurses. press on, cpl franklin. you leave me in awe.

why do we find wounded soldiers so noble? is it because they gave a body part for their cause? is it because they laid their life down for the cause? perhaps its because they follow through upon what they believe? all of the above. and so ... heros abound. they surround us. and so? the biggest hero of all, here? the little 6 yr old boy - simon - who will never play run alongside his dad. and all the children who have given their dads to the cause. of war. of liberating. and relieving suffering.

thank you simon ... and all the children you represent.
you have given us more than you can imagine.

images originally uploaded by peejoe and limbic

its not quite remembrance day here
- that is november 11 -
but, i remember today. remember that,
many men and women wage war daily -
doing a thing i cannot.
we all serve humanity in different ways.
the way of a soldier ...
its a painfully ugly noble compassion.
and you, soldier, walk it.
i thank you
... i honour you ...
for walking the walk that i cannot.

the poppy - its for you.

image originally uploaded by kayodeok


Enemy of the Republic said...

Wow. You have a lot of blogs. Which one should I link on my site?

You know how much I love soldier's stories.

mantissa said...

lol. yeah. i like to compartmentalize the different energies. you could just link to the profile - then ya don't hafta decide.

i do know how you like soldier's stories. this one's for you ... written for you.


Mayden' s Voyage said...


mantissa said...

this is a work in progress. there's gonna be a more in-depth feature on this chap in the next day or two on cbc national news. it will provide me with information to help make this story deeper, more personal.