Thursday, December 27, 2007


Matt is showing his arm to cousin, Travis.
Matt and Taena enjoy Christmas dinner together.
Opening stockings with nieces and nephews

Wishing everyone a very Happy New Year!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas

Before leaving San Antonio for Olathe, Matt and his dad stepped out into the sunshine!
Matt has had some great accomplishments in these last few weeks. He is walking more each day. He is learning to drive. He will be getting fitted for his full legs shortly after the holidays!

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Home for the Holidays

It looks like Matt will make it home for the holidays. And it looks like Mom and Dad's house will be accessible thanks to a number of donations and some hard work. A huge thank you goes to Pat Kerr, State Veterans Ombudsman and Director of Operation Outreach Missouri Veterans Commission, Roberts Foundation and Flatwork, Keith Wells, Hermes Landscaping, Steve Danyluk of the Independence Fund, and more. We also want to thank the Mercy Medical Airlift/Angel Flight organization for providing air travel to Mom and Dad in order for them to go get Matt and bring him home. Hopefully, soon, there will be lots of pictures to share!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Giving Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.
We are so thankful for all of the prayers, support and good wishes from family and friends and from people we will never know. Thank you so much to those of you who have contributed gifts to Matt and his family as well. Please keep all of those families effected by war in your hearts...there has to be a better way. We are so very lucky to still have Matt. Our prayers are with those who will not be with the ones they love this holiday season. May you find peace and joy.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Good News

Matt has returned from a renewing trip to Florida. He went sailing in the mornings and snorkeling in the afternoons. He said he has made some wonderful new friends. Upon returning to the CFI today, Matt had his legs cast for his prosthetics. He may be up walking by tomorrow! His first legs will be "stubbies" which are short, kneeless and have backward facing feet for balance. Go! Matt!

Thursday, November 1, 2007


Matt has been working to learn to use his arm prosthesis and will be getting a new hand attachment which is a hook type devise. He is scheduled to get his first leg prostheses in about a month! Hopefully he will be up on his new feet very soon. In the meantime, Matt is going to get to go sailing in Florida. He will be learning to sail on a boat which has been adapted for people with a single arm. He will be traveling with a group of wounded soldiers from the CFI. Smooth sailing, soldiers!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Some News from One of Matt's Fellow Soldiers

Terry Clees was injured in the same explosion in which Matt was injured. I believe he was the driver of the Humvee. This infomation has come from Terry's step-mother, Catherine Clees. She requests that we continue to pray for Terry's recovery.

Terry suffered a severe traumatic brain injury, extensive injuries to his right arm, and various shrapnel wounds. He is currently in the Polytrauma Unit at the VA Hospital in Minneapolis MN. He has PT, OT, RT and speech therapy daily. He continues to make small improvements, and can walk with a walker and some assistance in physical therapy. Updates regarding his condition can be found on his MySpace at

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Time for a Little Pick Me Up

Click on the following link to check out a small surprise for Matt and his family that you can help us out with. peeking, Matt, Tessa, Taena and Jaelen!


Sunday, October 7, 2007

Giving Back Just a Little

On October 5, Matt's family was able to give back just a little to the Holy Trinity community by selling Matt's famous tee shirts at the annual benefit auction and donating the proceeds to the school. Thanks, Pat Murrow for the wonderful idea! Thank you, CENTER SPORTS in Lenexa, for providing the shirts.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Parade of Heroes

Matt and his family enjoyed being in the Parade of Hereos. Matt was honored as the Grand Marshal. Thank you to Pat Sedlock, the Village West Rotary Club, the Shawnee Rotary Club and all of the people who made this possible. We do not know who all of you are but Matt and his family want to thank you, not only for the honor but for the opportunity to visit his home town for the first time since his injuries. Thank you, Kurt Mayo of Hilton Garden Inn for providing the lodging for Matt and his family. And, thank you, Dave Huston, for providing the airline tickets. Your generosity amazes us!

Thanks, Matt and Tessa, for all the work you did to get here!
Matt is preparing to enter the Classic Car in which he and his family road. Helping with these last minute preparations was Pat Sedlock, parade chairwoman, who helped every step of the way. Thank you to Wendell Maddox of United Way for the vehicle they provided Matt and his family while they were visiting Kansas City.

Following the parade a reception was held at Cheeseburger in Paradise. Thank you so much to Mac Taylor, who made this possible and donated the fun and food!

Here is a link to the story in the Kansas City Star.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Matt Turns Unfortunate Incident into a Learning Experience for Others

Matt had an unfortunate experience at Six Flags Fiesta in San Antonio. As a result, Matt is trying to educate the public and help prevent other wounded soldiers from being treated disrespectfully.
Try control/clicking on the following link for the video of the interview. You will have to listen to a short ad first, sorry.

Hugs All Around

Matt and his family arrived safely last night at the Kansas City airport. Lots of hugs were shared by all!

Welcome home, Lammers family! We love you.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Parade of Heroes

On Thursday, September 27, Matt will be the Grand Marshal for the the Parade of Heroes in K.C. KS! For more information about the parade visit the link provided by clicking on Parade of Heroes or use the following address.

Parade of Heroes - Village West Parkway - Cabelas
When: Thursday, September 27th at 7:00 p.m.
What: "Parade of Heroes" sponsored by Village West Rotary Club
Where: Village West Parkway at the Legends, Beginning at Cabela's
Why: To salute and honor our military men and women who are or who have served in any of our country's wars
Beneficiary: Proceeds will go to the Disabled American Veterans

7:00 PM – 10:00 PM

Also, Senator Bob Dole mentioned Matt in his address to congress yesterday. Visit C-span and search for Bob Dole, 9/19/07, to see the address. Senator Dole mentions Matt at about 28 minutes into his address.

Monday, September 17, 2007

At home and work

Matt is doing physical therapy everyday at the CFI. As he is getting stronger, he is more able to get in and out of his wheelchairs and play with his girls.

Some of physical therapy looks like a bit more fun! How about a game of dodge ball?

Tessa has done a remarkable job of making their new home very special for each of their daughters.

A special word of thanks to Matt's Aunt Marta for visiting Matt at a crucial time so that Tessa could come get the girls and for the great photos. You are the best!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Home at last!

The girls have all arrived, tired but full of smiles. Tessa managed the drive with the two girls and a loaded car all the way from Olathe. Hugs to all of you!

Saturday, September 8, 2007


Matt's girls are on the way to Texas! Tessa is bringing them home this weekend. Happy reunion little family! Also, Matt has been told that he indeed qualifies for the nerve reinnervation research project and he will eventually receive the newest in prosthetic arms. He has a lot of healing to do yet and will start with simpler prostheses in order to prepare his arm.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Family Reunion

Plans are in the works to get the SSG Matt Lammers family all together in their new home! Tessa will be coming to get the girls this week to bring them home to Texas. Hopefully by this time next week Matt, Tessa, Taena and Jaelen will get to be a family again after so many months of separation. We are all wishing you joy and peace, Lammers family!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

KC STAR Article

Try the link below to see the front page article on Matt and his comrades at the Center for the Intrepid. It is quite a tribute.

(I am not sure how long this link will work.)

What a Beautiful Tribute!

So many people to thank...The response to the benefit barbeque was phenomenal! More than a thousand people were served. Holy Trinity Parish you are the best!

It looked like everyone had a great time.
Our family is certainly blessed.
Thank you, Mary, Roger, Joanne, Stan, Chris , Kamal, Fr. Tom and everyone else who helped in big ways and small.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Holy Trinity Parish Benefit Barbeque

On Saturday, August 25, 2007, Holy Trinity Parish is holding a benefit barbeque for Matt and his family. Organizers of the benefit pose by the smoker in front of the church before starting the ribs. At least nine hundred tickets were sold!!!

Mr. Chris Herrold, donor, organizer and chief smoker, prepares part of the 100 pounds of smoked sausage, 160 slabs of baby back ribs and 1,400 pieces of chicken that will be served.

Mmm Mmm good!

Thank you, everyone!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Matt Lammers Family in June 2007

Tessa sent this great family photo for today's posting.
What a reunion it will be when they are all together in their new home!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Spotlight on Tessa

Matt's Faithful Wife

One of the first things I learned and admired about Tessa when I first met her was that she is a faithful, self-sacrificing care-taker. Before she and Matt were married, I was amazed when I saw her love for family members and her willingness to put them before herself when they were sick or needed care.
When she and Matt were first married, I saw Tessa leave her family, whom she loves so deeply, in order to fully love her husband and care for him. She was willing to move from her home-town, where all of her family lives, to follow Matt as he was stationed in different bases throughout the US. She often stayed on base, far from family, taking care of their home even during long deployments. She has worked to make a home for her family no matter where she has been (even in a hospital room- the nurses agreed that it was the best decorated room they have ever seen!).
Tessa has been diligently caring for their daughters through Matt’s basic training and three deployments. Because of Matt’s service to our great country, Tessa has been the primary care-taker for much of their girl’s lives. Yet now, she has been away from them for nearly two months as she has lovingly put her husband before them and stayed by his side. I cannot imagine how much she misses her little girls and how she longs for them. Every day is a great sacrifice as she lovingly cares for Matt with her girls so far away.
When I had the opportunity to visit with Matt and Tessa in Texas a few weeks ago, I got to see first hand Tessa’s incredible patience and love for Matt. She seemed to know just what to say to lift him when he needed it most. Many people have commented that they are amazed at Matt’s incredibly positive attitude. He has no doubt had a fantastic view from the very beginning of this. But, I think that his wife, Tessa, is in large part the “wind beneath his wings”.
While deployed in Iraq, when Matt struggled with the realities of war and the real danger he was in, Tessa was so strong, always saying “You’re not gonna’ die!” in a very casual and convincing way. Even now, she seems unmoved by the injuries that Matt has endured, saying, “I wasn’t attached to his arm and legs!” She continually reassures him of her love and adoration for him. She has been by his side from the moment he arrived in Texas, and seems so at ease with him, quietly caring for him just the way he needs.
Tessa has done an outstanding job of caring for her husband. Yet, I think she probably just sees it as the simple things she does. It comes so naturally to her. But, today, I want to thank her, and commend her on a job very well done. She is a wonderful, loving mom, and the perfect support and life companion for Matt.

Thank you, Tessa.


Wednesday, August 8, 2007


We hear that Matt is able to do wheelies in his manual chair. We also hear that Matt fell from the chair and had to have three sutures put in his arm...Hummmm!!!???

Sunday, August 5, 2007

This is for you, Daddy

Here are some pictures for you, Daddy!

Very lucky kids...This is Lori Shulz, Tessa's mother. She as well as Tessa's dad, John, and her sister, Nissa, have been caring for Taena and Jaelen all summer.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Unbridled Generousity!

Matt and Tessa have been the recipients of many gifts and contributions. We simply cannot acknowledge everyone! However, there are a few people and organizations who need to be publicly thanked...General Larry Kay, Deputy Director of the Missouri Veterans Commission and Pat Kerr, State Veterans Ombudsman/ Operation Outreach of the Missouri Veterans Commission, Senator Bob Dole, Co-Chair of the Commission on Care for Returning Wounded Warriors, Reserve Aid and Soldier's Angels. These people and organizations have gone out of their way to provide for Matt and his family. We cannot thank you enough!

We also need to acknowledge with gratitude the manner in which the military is providing care for Matt. He truly is being given the best treatment available. His doctors, nurses, therapists and other assistants and case workers have given him the best of care.

Donated Van with lift

Friday, July 27, 2007

Friday, July 27

A lot has changed!

Matt has all of his sutures removed and is healing remarkably well. His next step is to get a temporary arm prosthesis which will not have an elbow. With it he hopes to learn to propel his manual wheelchair which will be a big step toward independence because of the portability of the smaller, lighter chair.

Matt's sister, Jessica, was able to visit with him for a few days and was able to accompany him and Tessa on Matt's first outing away from the hospital. The outing was made possible by Virginia Hemp who is coordinating the targeted nerve reinnervation project in which Matt hopes to partake.

And, Matt was discharged from the hospital yesterday and he and Tessa are now in temporary lodging at the Fisher House until their post housing becomes available in mid August!

The Fisher House is located next to the Center For the Intrepid (CFI) which is where Matt will be spending his days doing therapy.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Friday, July 20

Matt continues to heal and to make progress in his quest for independence. He is going to daily sessions of PT at the Center for the Intrepid where he is working on strengthening, stretching, and learning new skills.
Because of Matt's wife, Tessa's, hard work and persistence they will be getting accessible housing on post by mid August at which time the whole family will be able to be together again.
Matt has had some distinguished visitors as well as friends and family. Pictures will come later when available.
We all appreciate everyone's continued support. Matt enjoys each of the cards and well wishes.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Monday, July 16

Matt came through the surgical procedure yesterday in good shape. In fact he is off to PT already today! The news from the surgery yesterday was mixed. The doctors did not find any pocket of fluid or infection, however, they did find some dead tissue. Some of that tissue was removed but not all. At this time rather than risk the introduction of more infection by opening and surgically cleaning out the wound, they will wait and monitor his leg carefully. We are hoping that the wound will heal itself without further intervention. Your prayers will be greatly appreciated.


Saturday, July 14, 2007

Prayer Request

Matt has developed a pocket of fluid in his right leg. The doctors have decided to take Matt to surgery tomorrow (Sunday, 7/15) to investigate and clean it out. Hopefully this will be done early in the day and if it is infected, it will heal quickly. Please keep him in your prayers.

Update 7/14/07

Matt has made lots of progress in the past week. He had his first physical therapy session at the Center for the Intrepid. With hard work and determination he mastered transferring himself into his power chair and even managed to transfer to a toilet with a little advice from his physical therapist! While at the rehabilitation center, Matt met with a fellow soldier, Chad, who showed Matt his prosthetic legs and demonstrated walking for him.

Matt also expects to have the sutures removed from his arm very soon.

PFC Gomez made it to visit Matt in his room! Among other things, they practiced target shooting with a Nerf gun. Matt shared his pictures of the Hum-Vee with Gomez and related what he could remember of the explosion. PFC Gomez recalled mostly only smoke and ringing ears. PFC Gomez is continuing to make progress and is expecting to be transferred to the 4th floor orthopedic wing soon.

Matt is hoping to be able to take part in a research project through the Chicago Rehabilitation Institute called the Targeted Reinnervation for Improved Myoelectric Prosthesis Function at Brooke Army Medical Center. He will undergo further evaluations at the end of August to determine his eligibility. If selected, he will undergo a surgical procedure that will transplant nerves in his arm and then be fitted with the newest of prosthetic arms which function in a more natural fashion. Good luck, Matt! For more information on this project, be sure to check out the link in the sidebar "Revolutionary limb development".

Last, but not least, Matt has earned a promotion! As of September 1st he will be Staff Sergeant Lammers.

Congratulations, SSG Lammers!