USA Today’s website has a powerful story and video about USMC Cpl. Ronny “Tony” Porta that I think should be mandatory reading and viewing for every American who wants to maintain citizenship in this country. At the age of 20, Tony was in a Humvee in Iraq that was struck by an IED. Tony lost his two best friends and sustained severe burns over 80% of his body. He also lost his right arm and fingers on his left hand.
According to the USA Today article, Tony has undergone 128 surgeries, many of those were to reconstruct his face which he essentially lost in the event. Surgeons rebuilt his “mouth, nose and around his left eye, removing scar tissue covering his right eye.” Still, even with extensive reconstructive work people still stare.
Photo credit: Jack Gruber/USA Today
Tony reminds those that see him and are taken aback and unsure how to react that freedom is not free. He reminds us of the cost. Let us never forget the cost of war – whether the wounds are visibly apparent or not – it is carried disproportionately by a very small group of men and women who willingly put their lives on the line for the ideals of the United States.
God bless you Tony Porta – your endurance and commitment to life are inspiring. Thank you Corporal for your service, your example, and your courage. You are remarkable.
Day one thousand three hundred and ninety-one of the new forty – obla di obla da