We would like to share with you a message Josh's sister Maggie received today from one of Josh's fellow warriors in the Navy. Please read through to the end for an update on his situation and our prayer request.
"I went to BUD/S with your brother. I dropped a few hours after he did and we ended up spending a good chunk of time together in San Diego. We both got picked up to be Corpsmen and he stayed with me in my sister's apartment for a few days before we drove my car to San Antonio for the entry-level Corpsman training. We became roommates and I spent the next few months getting to know your brother very well. Obviously you know him so much better than I do and are aware of all the characteristics which make him an amazing guy: his faith, humility, sense of humor, and eagerness to reach out to others and squeeze as much out of life as he can with as many friends as possible. However, given the position in which we found ourselves, I got to experience Josh in a unique form of mental and emotional adversity. I wanted to share with you and your family the true depth and solidity of his character and spirit, which I am sure you are presently seeing in a much more vital way.
Josh and I really became close when we found ourselves in some very dark days. We had both dedicated so much of ourselves to SEAL training. We had made so many sacrifices and put everything on the line to accomplish that goal. We had gotten so close to making it through the hardest phase of the hardest training in the entire world. But we hit a wall. Physical, mental, and emotional...everything came crashing down around us and put simply, we failed. Josh had serious shoulder injuries and it was amazing that he made it as far as he did (as you well know). But to us that doesn't matter because we all take personal responsibility for what happens in that course. When some guys don't make it their lives simply fall apart. They fall into deep depression, feel like failures, and are never able to cope with what happened to them and/or the decisions that they made. I've seen guys drink, use drugs, and turn to even more tragic self-destructive behaviors. Not only are we mentally fatigued and taxed, but our bodies are physically broken and even our hormones are out of balance for the first few weeks. Then for months after, we go to another job's training program and sit around wondering what you could be doing if things hadn't worked out that way. What could life be like if it had all gone according to plan? What skills would I be learning if I had just held out a bit longer? What would my life be like if my shoulder had just held up for another 12 hours?
I experienced countless hours of self-loathing, depression, anger, and regret. I went through all of this but I don't think Josh did and it was not due to apathy. I know he was disappointed that he didn't get through BUD/S. I know that sometimes he'd be frustrated with his injury and say things like "Man, we were so close." But Josh never doubted that there was a plan. He never lost faith and he never pitied himself. Even when he was disqualified from joining an operational command and began to take care of his injuries, his head was high and he was fighting. He was given a path so he walked it his way: with confidence, humility, humor, and faith. Josh and I are very different but we became such close friends because of mutual respect and support. He inspired me to make the most of my situation and helped me get over those first few weeks and months of all of those negative emotions.
I pushed on and I stayed in touch with Josh through my qualification training and so far in my young career, but not as frequently as I should have. I knew that I should be a better friend and stay in touch more frequently...But I know I'll be able to apologize to him personally. Because Josh is a great guy in the best of times. But it's not how we act when things are good that defines our character. What defines us is how we view the world, treat others, and approach challenges when everything is going wrong. I've seen him do it with ease. This is a whole new challenge and a much longer and more difficult road. But if anyone can do it, it's your brother." -Dan
Josh has overcome pneumonia once again and is back in the polytrauma unit and back into his therapy. He is still in the coma but beginning to move his left arm and is tracking further to the right with his eyes! We ask you to pray that the bacteria that has been his nemisis would be defeated so he can focus all his energy on his rehab. The family is very thankful for Josh's progress. It is clear to us that the Lord did not let the dark days Josh and Dan experienced go to waste. The Lord was getting Josh ready. They were preparation for the battle he is in now. This warrior is ready.
All in for Josh!
"And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose" Romans 8:28