Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Never Leave the Wounded Behind

A post from Hector...
Some of the lectures we heard at the Institutes were given by the staff, but mostly by Janet Doman, the Director of the Institutes and Douglas Doman, the Vice Director. But some of them are still given by Glenn Doman, the founder. He sits in a chair at the front of the auditorium and uses cue cards that he reads. Every day, we were asked to arrive at least 15 minutes early in the morning so we could find our assigned seats because they shuffle everyone around. The last day Jen and I were lucky to be seated in the front row a few feet from where Glenn Doman was sitting.

That day we were really tired. We had heard more than 40+ hours of intense lectures in less than 5 days and the amount of information was overwhelming, so even though at times I wanted desperately to shut my eyes and rest my mind, having Glenn Doman at arms length and looking at you when he speaks, there was no choice but to listen.

One of the required readings for the course is the book, "What to do about your brain injured child..." which I read the week before our trip, I found the book fascinating, and most of Glenn's lectures are in the book, but to hear them from the man himself was a treat. Towards the end of the book he talks about family and how throughout history the family has survived and the reason it survives is so that we can divide our time unevenly. He goes on to talk about his three families: the Doman family, the Staff at the Institutes, and the Infantry Rifle Company in World War II. This is a excerpt from his book:

"My third family was my infantry rifle company. That was a true family. In infantry rifle company, the only people in front of you are the bad guys. They are shooting at you and trying to kill you. You are shooting at them and trying to kill them too. Under these circumstances you make very dear friends very - very, very quickly. More things happen to you in five minutes than might happen normally in a lifetime. Sometimes you stop shooting long enough to crawl out in the field where a lot of shooting is going on in order to grab a wounded soldier by the leg and pull him in. That's dividing your time unevenly. Everybody's in favor of that and it does amazing things to you. One of the most important principles I learned there was a law of the infantry. The law is you never leave the wounded behind. Most casualties take place in the infantry so it is vital that you never leave the wounded behind. As an officer-in-training you think that you understand it. Then you're in combat and the kid next to you gets a bullet through his chest. And down he goes. It doesn't occur to you for one second to leave him behind. Not because it's a principle you have been taught but because he is you. If the wind had been four miles an hour more from the east, you'd be lying on the ground with a bullet through your chest. All things being equal you might as well be the one lying on the ground three minutes from now. You never leave the wounded behind because that wounded soldier beside you is you. That is why you never, never, never leave the wounded behind."

As I was listening to him say these words, I was picturing baby Joaquin so full of love and smiles and how much he needs us to divide our time unevenly, how he needs us to roll up our sleeves every day and do battle to help him reach his full potential. Because the alternative is not an option. We will never, never, never leave our beautiful baby boy behind.

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