Thursday, August 24, 2006

a shout out to this family - they are our own

they are our neighbors, our friends, our sons and our daughters. they DESERVE to stay safe and not be put in harm's way. i thank the whole family

Big family, big issues
By Ben Rubin , Journal Inquirer

EAST HARTFORD - At first glance, the home at 49 Wells Ave. seems like an unassuming place on an ordinary street. But inside, it is in constant motion.It's where Karen Defond brought up 12 children - eight of whom were adopted and one a daughter of a friend who died.Three of her seven boys - Peter Defond, 23; Timothy Graveline, 20; and Douglas Graveline, 21 - grew up to join the Marines, with one fighting in Iraq, one stationed in Japan, and one back home, injured.

After serving in Iraq for three months, Douglas returned to East Hartford in January after an improvised explosive device blew up the tank he was driving. The incident happened Dec. 20, 2005, in Fallujah.Douglas was nearly killed in the attack, Karen said, and by the time he came back to the U.S., he had a jagged scar across his right arm, a broken jaw, missing teeth, and short-term memory loss."If he didn't get hurt, he said he'd be right back there to help his fellow man and the people who wanted help," Karensaid. "When he started to walk again, he said he wanted to go back."Now recuperating at home, he seemed to heal quickly. Never one to talk to people outside a small core of friends and family, he refused to discuss the incident."I was happy, because he was alive still," Karen said. "He's considered a veteran now, a 21-year-old veteran. You wouldn't think that, would you?"Peter is serving a third tour in Iraq - one he volunteered to do -battling in towns and cities his family sometimes can't remember the names of.As a frontline soldier, Karen bluntly described what Peter does: "He shoots a lot."..........


fabio said...

douglas is my brother and i love him very much im so glas hes home now!!!

a rose is a rose said...

oh i'm so glad he's home too. have a most wonderful holiday season. stay warm and stay safe