Glendora soldier injured in Iraq on long road to recovery

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week His right eye won’t stay open, so he’ll face a third surgery. And when he moves from the hospital setting into a transitional living center at Casa Colina Centers for Rehabilitation, that’s when his wife, Marissa, says she’s not sure his insurance will pay for his treatment. “That’s why we are fund-raising. We are unsure what the military will continue to cover,” said Marissa, 26. Marissa transferred her husband from the Palo Alto Veterans Hospital in Northern California two months ago to the private Pomona hospital, because she said the Palo Alto facility was not equipped to treat serious head injuries. “They deal with a lot of strokes. Jarod had so many more needs, it was like he was a guinea pig,” Marissa said. Casa Colina spokesman Fred Aronow said “closed-head” injuries represent the most significant injury coming out of the Iraq war because of improved armor. “It stops bullets. Bullets have a tremendous amount of force. … There’s no break in the skull, but the brain is moved around inside from the velocity just as when someone is in a car crash and they hit the windshield,” Aronow said. Behee, who joined the Army in March 1999, was outside of Tikrit when he was shot by enemy fire. It was his day off, but he volunteered and was the only one injured. He suffered a stroke on his left side, and while he isn’t paralyzed, he is weak and his speech uncertain at times. But, he says he’s on the road to recovery and looks forward to going home. “I’m halfway there; another step closer,” he said. Behee had returned safely from his first tour of Iraq in August 2003 before joining the Army National Guard. In November 2004, he was deployed again. “I was a brave soldier even after being shot in the head,” Behee said Wednesday from his hospital bed, surrounded by family pictures and military paraphernalia. He said seeing his wife and daughter, Madison, 4, for the first time was a “tear-jerker.” Marissa said Jarod started to speak a little over a month ago. “He was frustrated. He wrote, ‘I wish I could talk; I don’t know why I can’t,’ ” she said. In the meantime, Jarod is undergoing three hours of occupational, physical and speech therapy every day. He said he’s not angry about his injuries; he has no regrets and still supports the war. “If I could, I would look into (the sniper’s) eye and ask him what he was thinking when he took that shot,” Behee said. — Marianne Love can be reached at (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2108, or by e-mail at [email protected] local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! GLENDORA — He made it six months into his second tour of duty in Iraq before a sniper’s bullet found him as he stood guard on top of a police station. The bullet never actually entered his body, rather it zipped around the inside of his helmet and back out, shaking his head violently and injuring his brain. In the next few weeks, Army Staff Sgt. Jarod Behee, 26, will face more surgery at a private hospital in Pomona. Doctors will insert a permanent shunt to drain the fluid on Behee’s brain. After that, a cranioplasty will be performed to relieve pressure on his brain.last_img

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