National Guard Sgt. Breinne Travers Sullivan was finally released from Walter Reed Army Medical Center after three years and many surgeries. While serving in Afghanistan, 34-year-old Sullivan was awarded a Purple Heart after losing her left eye and having many teeth and facial bones shattered. She also still endures a traumatic brain injury, but has Seamus, a military service dog, to help her out.
When Sullivan and her husband, Joe, a National Guardsman who also served in Afghanistan, began driving to their Massachusetts home from the hospital, a caravan started. First, there was a police and military escort behind Joe's Nissan. But then it grew into a line of over 100. And it all started with a letter from a friend who just wanted Travers to know that she wasn't "forgotten".
Patrick Hayden, a member of the Massachusetts Fallen Heroes (and the best man at Sullivan's wedding), sent out an email to some people before Breinne's release, saying that he'd like to show support for her. And the response was unbelievable. Before the caravan began, Breinne's husband was asked what he thought of it, to which he responded: "God bless America. Only in America could you do something like this, send out an email saying she’s coming home and next thing you know, within a week, your friends come out and do something like this."
If anyone deserved such a beautiful outpouring of support, it's Breinne. Despite her injuries, she's never once complained and has managed to always look on the bright side. The soldier, who has no memory of the ambush that left her so badly injured, said: "If you’ve spent any time at Walter Reed, you know you’ve got no right to sit there, hang your head ... I didn’t expect to come home with a brain injury. I’ve adjusted to it. I’ve accepted it. I am just still so unbelievably lucky."
And we're so lucky to have an amazing American soldier, and citizen, like Breinne Travers Sullivan. Glad you're home, and thanks so much for your service.
Image via Boston Herald