07 August 2009

Martin soldier stops at home on road to recovery

From NWTN Today

A SOLDIER’S GIFT – PFC Lindell Scott Pleasant of Martin treats 7-year-old J.T. White of Martin (left) to an airplane and a camoflauge hat with his name embroidered on the back during a trip home last week.

Although he might not consider himself a hero, in the eyes of others, U.S. Army Private First Class Lindell Scott Pleasant of Martin is a humble young man that feels he is just doing what he took an oath to do by serving the United States military.

Pleasant returned home for a brief stay last week in Martin to visit family and friends before heading back to Fort Drum, N.Y. with his wife, Jessica.
He spoke of the war in the Middle East with a strong spirit while he sported a cane that partly told his tale.

Pleasant suffered significant injury to his knees, right shoulder and left ankle when his vehicle struck an IED in Afghanistan during a route clearance in May of this year. The Martin soldier spent several weeks at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, D.C. before coming back to his hometown.

When he returns to his station in New York, Pleasant will undergo surgery to repair his shoulder and shattered ankle and have both knees replaced.

He said he will never be 100 percent physically, but that does not deter him from wanting to remain in the Armed Forces.

“I’m aggravated that I won’t be going back over there (Afghanistan),” Pleasant said. He added that life in the Middle East was everything that he had expected it to be from the training he was given by the U.S. Army.

“Nothing is routine, of course. Every day, you just fly by the seat of your pants. It does teach you to respect what you had on the home front,” Pleasant shared.
He said the landscape in Afghanistan is just as one would picture and the terrain allows military personnel to seek unconventional methods of comfort.

“When it rains, we would all strip down and grab our ammo cans and soap to take a shower. We would wash with one can and rinse with the other,” Pleasant said.

“There are no showers, no electricity and no running water. You are out in the middle of nowhere, eating three MRE’s every day and sleeping with one eye open,” he added.

With little or no frequent communication from home, Pleasant said receiving mail in the desert was something that would “make their day.”

“A lot of troops just need encouragement. Morale is pretty good, the sergeants don’t let you get down. There is a lot of loneliness. I missed the face-to-face conversations with my wife. Mail is essential. If you got something in the mail, you carry it with you everywhere you go until it just falls apart,” Pleasant added.
He received letters from second-graders at South Fulton Elementary School while he was deployed to Afghanistan.

“That was one of the best feelings, I can’t describe how much that meant to me,” the Martin soldier said.

Pleasant is considering re-enlisting in the Army in October. He hopes to be transferred to Ft. Campbell, Ky.

“I am going to stand behind him 100 percent no matter what he wants to do,” the Army wife said.

On the home front, Jessica said deployment took its toll while she spent her days thinking about what her husband’s doing and wondering if he’s o.k.

“I didn’t watch the news and I dealt with the deployment by myself. I didn’t know what to expect with the first deployment and I spent a lot of time by the phone,” she added.

“It’s not about money and it’s not about respect. I joined the Army because of the flag of the United States of America – our flag and what it stands for in this country,” Pleasant added.

He is the son of Lindell and Joy Pleasant of Martin.

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