Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

People that make America great

I am no fan of Newsweek, but I found this story incredibly moving:

The son of immigrant parents, Joel Gomez did not take the American Dream for granted. He fought for it. After high school at Wheaton-Warrenville South in Illinois, he joined the United States Army and later went off to serve in Iraq. In March 2004, his tank crashed in the Tigris River, and Sergeant Gomez was paralyzed from the neck down. Gomez, who will never walk again, assumed that after treatment he would go back to his little basement apartment in Wheaton, just another forgotten casualty of war. His hometown saw it otherwise. This 24-year-old native son deserved better—and he was going to get it. Michelle Senatore, a civic volunteer in Wheaton, spearheaded a campaign to raise money to build a big house for Gomez, a place that would be state-of-the-art for the disabled. Senatore, the daughter of a Vietnam vet who faced disdain when he came home from that war, vowed, 'I'm not going to let that happen to Joel.' The house-building dream would cost $400,000, a seemingly tall task, and require a massive amount of donated labor. 'If everyone works together in just a little way,' said Senatore, 'things can happen.'
And they did make things happen, building him a state of the art house, and taking care of all of his medical expenses and all the costs associated with his disability. By the way, I don't think it's any coincidence that the article describes Wheaton as "a community known for its rock-ribbed patriotism and deeply religious values."