“I complained to God that I had no shoes,
“I complained to God that I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet.” That dusty line from Thanksgivings past finds fresh meaning in Derek McGinnis’ new book, Exit Wounds: A Survival Guide to Pain Management for Returning Veterans and Their Families. November 9, 2004, Navy corpsman McGinnis was in Fallujah, Iraq, racing in an ambulance to pick up injured Marines, when a Mercedes Benz packed with homemade explosives crashed into his side of the ambulance, severing his left leg above the knee and exploding shrapnel into one eye. After years of rehabilitation at Bethesda Naval Hospital, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, and the Palo Alto Veterans Hospital, 32-year-old husband and father Derek is focusing his life now on assisting other veterans and families who are having to pick up the pieces and cobble together a life beyond the war. A consultant with the American Pain Foundation, he is spreading a message of hope beyond adversity. “It’s OK to have mental pain, it’s OK to have physical pain. There are methods to have a productive life” (SBTribune 11-18-09). The proof hangs in the McGinnis garage at home—the racing bibs of a long distance runner: the 2006 Marine Corps Marathon, the 2006 Army 10-Miler, and the 2007 Alcatraz Challenge. All of the races run with a flexible prosthetic left leg replete with a neatly-laced running shoe at the end of the metal post. Derek McGinnis is grateful to be running at all.
“I complained to God that I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet.”
“Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name” (Psalm 100:4). Amen.