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What's Good in the Neighborhood: A Soldier's Story

"In 2005, I was involved in a serious motorcycle crash. I was hit from behind and run over," Major Clarence L. Carroll remembered. "The accident happened one month after we were married and for many years she took care of me. I was in a wheelchair at time, I had a walker at times and literally, for almost one full year of my life I couldn't walk," he said.

"His military career was in jeopardy," according to Dr. Fleming Brooks.

"I was not in a position where I could deploy, I was still in pain, I couldn't run, I even still had a limp," the Major continued, "It was difficult to conduct day-to-day activities, even when those mean sitting behind a desk, coordinating activities at Fork Rucker."

Major Carroll had tried surgery after surgery, even having a bone stimulator implanted in his leg, but his leg simply would not heal. His story took a turn, when Dr. Brooks devised a promising procedure, which even he admits was a challenge.

"We took the nail that had been in his knee and put in a larger nail, thinking it would stimulate the bone and it did," Dr. Brooks explained.

"In a few short months I was back on flight status with the Headhunter program at Fort Rucker," said Major Carroll.

"I'm just grateful that it was able to heal and he can continue to defend our country like he has. I just did my job, Major Carroll is my hero," said Dr. Brooks.

Major Carroll deployed again in October 2008, leading a team of 11 to train and advise the Iraqi army. He returned just a few weeks ago with a remarkable tribute to Dr. Brooks. A flag his camp flew on the 8th anniversary on the September 11th attacks, in his honor.

"This is tremendous; there is no other possession that I'll cherish more," Dr. Brooks said.

"I'm grateful to be physically active again, like you say, rolling around on the grass with my younger kids and challenging my son…I have an 18year-old son, I looked forward to coming back and going for a run with him," Major Carroll said.

And as for his wife's years of caretaking…

"She doesn't have to take care of me anymore; I enjoy taking care of her now," said the Major, with a smile.

Major Carroll is celebrating 25 years in the service and plans to continue his military career, though these days, he’s a little more shy of motorcycles.


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