Love and Freedom on the One Hand

The Day That Forever Changed Him

Huge killer explosion. Way too close. He landed on the ground, hard. Awake and aware. No loss of consciousness. He knew he was hurt, but not how badly. He got an idea of the devastation when his friends and fellow soldiers wouldn’t let him look at his own body. They held him down and covered his eyes. They saved his life by being there when he needed them most. He survived with his spirit intact. Three limbs… gone.

What Can I Say About Him?

I had the opportunity to speak with Senior Airman Brian Kolfage recently, about his military service, his thoughts and feelings about America and the direction our country is going in. Then as I began to write about him, I became paralyzed by the thought that there is nothing I can ever say to properly honor him, his sacrifice for our freedom, the grace with which he accepts his fate, and the determination he displays to preserve our country and our liberty.

Counting His Blessings

He survived horrendous injuries, through immediate medical attention and his own will and yes, perhaps also the hand of God. But what is the real miracle of Brian Kolfage? Never bitter. He is never bitter. Imagine the realization that you have one hand left. And it is not the hand you write with. That is Brian’s new reality. Pick up a pen right now in your opposite hand and write something. It is a weird and frustrating feeling. It will not be long before you want to switch the pen to your other hand. You may do it without being consciously aware of doing so. For Brian, the other hand he itched to use was gone. He learned to write with his left hand, and not just write, but graduate college with a Bachelor’s in Architecture. And he is thankful for what he has.

Things Could Always Be Worse

Brian explained why he is at peace with the injuries he sustained. He admits to feeling a little bit sorry for himself for about five minutes. Then he saw another patient at Walter Reed. That guy had suffered a traumatic brain injury. He had lost much of himself. He didn’t know his loved ones. He couldn’t remember much about his own life. So, although Brian had lost many things that he could DO, he still possessed the most precious part of self: WHO HE IS. His thoughts, his dreams, his memories, his loves. Because he was still completely himself, in mind, heart, and soul, he could deal with a few missing limbs.

“I consider myself an average Joe, and every time I find myself in these places meeting with our leaders I’m just dumbfounded about how cool it is to have these experiences. Losing my limbs sucked, no doubt, but I’ve made sure to seize every opportunity to make it into something great, and I get to share things like this with my family, how cool is that?”

Don’t Be Fooled by the “Hang Loose” Vibe

Brian credits much of his survival to his life as an athlete, always busy playing sports including hockey. He drew from that strength both immediately after his injury and during the months of recovery and rehabilitation. How did Brian get good at hockey growing up in Hawaii? Because he lived in icy cold Michigan first. He played a lot of hockey in the Detroit area when he lived in Dearborn Heights. Then in his teen years, Brian absorbed a lot of Hawaii, maturing into a laid back guy with a relaxed tone and manner of speaking. His friends complain to him that it makes it sound like he doesn’t care. But he DOES care. Brian is a passionate defender of freedom, of our Constitution, of our American way of life. He has been through an awakening in the past few years, seeing what is happening to our country. He keeps notching up his work in educating people, in advocating Conservative ideals.  Since the 2012 election, he declares, “I can’t keep my mouth shut.”

Opportunity Wrapped in a Problem

Brian finds fault with both parties, seeing with clear eyes that the Establishment of both sides work together, and very often NOT in the best interests of the American people. He thinks that the Establishment GOP is far too nonchalant about going along with Obama’s agenda. He says that division and disagreement within the GOP branches of Conservative, Moderate, Tea Party, and Libertarian can be a good thing that spurs people to action. It can make them see that there is growth and change going on and inspire them to join in and be part of it. People are waking up.

So Much Good Gone to Waste

Brian wrote on his Facebook page, Senior Airman Brian Kolfage, on March 25, 2014, “On September 11 2004, I was severely wounded when our base came under a massive attack for the anniversary of 9/11. I was hit directly by the first 107mm rocket that came over the wire which was fired from over 2 km away.” And on June 15 he wrote, “I lost three limbs to give Iraqis the freedom they deserved, Obama bailed on them. It makes me disgusted beyond belief to see what’s going on now. I lost friends there and many people sacrificed a great amount.” Brian reported that the civilians, the children especially, were very happy to see the Americans. They understood that they were there to try to make their lives better. “How can a President not protect our investment? We invested in Iraq, and he’s just sold the shares as they bottomed out… It’s a shame, and we have all been betrayed.”

Driven to Harsh Words

Earlier in 2014, Brian felt angered and dismayed at the treatment of veterans by this administration. There was an open letter to Obama that went viral, first published on the website 100% FED Up! He assured me that yes, indeed, he DID write the letter. In these excerpts, we can see that Brian is bold and unafraid. He feels that someone has to speak some hard truth, and he is doing his part.

“Many citizens may not agree with waging war in Iraq to free the oppressed Iraqi citizens, but it’s something that warriors like myself have zero control over.”

“I joined to serve my country and to better my life.”

“We have one thing in common, we both attended school in Hawaii… I would ride my bike to Kaimuki High school in one of the roughest areas in Hawaii every morning and would ride past Punahou, the exclusive private school you attended.”

“I am frequently reminded of the many young Iraqi children who would beg me for water, food, and toys while I was stationed in Iraq. Children, who in all aspects made the poorest of poor American children look rich.”

“Just before elections on Oct 11, 2012 you said ‘Al Qaeda is on the run and Osama bin Laden is dead.’ Look at Iraq now, they are in shambles and the Al Qaeda flag is flying freely.”

“You’re just another elitist rich thug who’s pretended to live the rough life growing up in the inner-city.”

“We have no faith in your ability to lead.”

Best Pay Attention to the Inexorable March

Brian looks around at the 90% of his fellow students who support Socialism and shakes his head. It’s “just plain weird. Socialism is being sold like it means just to be good to your neighbor.” A janitor friend of Brian’s laments, “These kids don’t know what they’re getting into.” Obama and the far Left’s endgame is a more Socialist-type country. As Brian says, “People are so blind not to believe it.” A perfect example is Obamacare (thanks, Jonathan Gruber, for explaining the REAL story to us stupid Americans). Calling it “affordable” is CLASSIC doublespeak. Brian describes it as built to fail and the gateway to single payer. Health care controlled by the government is control over our very lives. The Democrats’ strategy of First Black President has paid off. As Brian observes, “The general population is so afraid to be called racist that the Democrats are able to ride Obama’s coattails, advancing so many aspects of Socialism in fast forward.”

Some Things Just Can’t Be Explained

How does Brian explain the popularity of people like Hillary Clinton and Obama? He says that it’s strange the way people support them, no matter what they say or do. It’s “almost like they don’t have morals.” So much of the public are all in and have swallowed the Alinsky lie that anything goes, as long as it serves the “ultimate purpose” (you’ll never hear a “progressive” explain PRECISELY what that is). The media doesn’t help any, with its fawning approval of all things Progressive, Democrat, and/or Obama and overtly biased advancement of a far Left agenda. The amount of propaganda makes Brian feel “like this is the USSR.”

Surf’s Up! Loving the Freedom

Brian still loves to surf. He feels a special kind of joy when he surfs, a taste of freedom in his new body. No prosthetics to strap on. No need for the legs that are missing. It’s just Brian with the wind and waves, movement and balance. Senior Airman Brian Kolfage WORKS for freedom. He loves his country. He loves his family. He loves his daughter. He wants her to see the future as a welcoming vista of possibility, so that SHE can create the life that SHE wants, through her own thoughts, dreams, and hard work to make it happen. He works FOR his family, friends, and fellow Americans. Because our freedom, however imperfect, is worth preserving. Love and Freedom. What more could a guy want?

Written by: @verytari

Brian receives an American flag from his daughter.

Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

And read more on his websites:
Wounded American Warrior
Senior Airman Brian Kolfage

Also read an excellent interview by Jeffrey Denning on Warrior SOS.

Be inspired by Brian’s Alive Day video.

“In good times and even in bad times, you fight for what you believe in.”


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