Sunday, July 8, 2007

American Heros

I originally published in “One Hero” (in the right sidebar) that we knew that there were other heroes in the story who saved Matt’s life. Recently Matt called me and gave me some more details about his rescue and the names of those involved. It is my privilege to get to share their names with you and to honor and thank them. (To the heros in this story and any others who personally know those involved: Although I tried to get the details as accurate as possible, please forgive any misspellings of names or innaccuracies of data, and please leave me a message if you are aware of any changes which need to be made.)

American Heroes

After the explosion which left the driver of the Hum-Vee unconscious, Sgt. Lammers’ vehicle slowed to a stop. He saw that his arm was split in half and was missing some fingers, but due to the smoke, he was not aware that he had also lost his legs. Sgt. Lammers tried to get out of the Hum-Vee, and looked down when he realized his legs were not moving. Seeing the full impact the explosion had on his body and knowing that he had to get himself out, he threw himself out of the truck to the ground with his one arm and began crawling to the medic, hero Sgt. Butts, who acted quickly putting on the three tourniquets which saved Sgt. Lammers’ life. Sgt. Butts then turned to help the other wounded heroes, PFC. Clees, PFC Gomez, and Sgt. Applegate. Unfortunately, within days of this incident, Sgt. Butts was himself injured by schrapnel and is being treated in Germany for his wounds.
Sgt. Lammers lay on the ground, facing the reality of the seriousness of his injuries. Thoughts of death filled his mind as hero PFC Freeman stayed by his side, holding his hand, giving him the courage to stay alive. Sgt. Lammers looked to the sky, feeling it was the last glimpse he would have from this side of heaven, and praying to God, he found the strength that he needed to endure.
Hero Sgt. Savant picked up Sgt. Lammers and carried him to a Bradley fighting vehicle belonging to a unit which turned around to come assist. He stayed by his side during the ride to the 28th CSH (Casualty Support Hospital), giving him encouragement, and helping to keep him conscious by talking with him about his wife and kids and some future plans for a BBQ.
Hero PFC Anderson and the heroes of the Alpha CO. 1-18 Infantry were also key in the rescue of the wounded, as they immediately turned to assist after the explosion. Hero SFC Nelson coordinated the vehicles which saved the lives of the wounded soldiers.
Certainly many others played a role in saving the lives of these men, encouraging them, quickly transporting them, and giving them life-saving medical care in the midst of a war zone. These are all heroes who left the comfort of their homes and families to serve and pay for our freedom and security.
Thank you, PFC Clees, PFC Gomez, SGT Applegate, SGT Butts, SGT Savant, PFC Freeman, SFC Nelson, PFC Anderson, and the entire D CO 1-28 and Alpha CO. 1-18 Infantry . We honor you and thank you for your courage and great sacrifices. You are all true heroes.



marta said...

Thank you to all the brave men who were involved in this incident and to all the others who may not be recognized! We are so glad to have Matt with us and to know so many helped him survive.

Ann L. said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you! I cannot say it enough. To all of the soldiers involved in this rescue, and to the rest that are still fighting for us, in these wars, you are the bravest of the brave. Thank you for bringing Matt back home to us. Matt we love you!

Love, Aunt Annie

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much to all these heroes and to many others whose names we do not know for taking care of Matt and getting him back home. God bless all of you!
Aunt Ann M.

PS, Thank you, Jessica, for sharing this story with us!

Uncle Jim said...

Reading the details of Matt's rescue reminds me that training is essential, but what makes a true hero is the ability to do, under the most extreme circumstances, what one has been taught. Matt summoned the strength and courage to do what must be done. I doubt he could have done this without the best of training and without true faith and love. Those who came to his aid exhibited both skill and a rare willingness to risk all for another. This is what being a soldier is all about, and this is what defines heroism. We are so grateful to all involved. My prayers continue for all the brave men and women called to serve.

My best to you Matt, and to all your family and loved ones.

Love, Jim

Anonymous said...

thank you jessica

from an aunt

Senator Bob Dole said...

Thank you for your heroic service. Your website is an inspiration. I know you are surrounded by your family and friends and a first-class medical team, but if I can assist in any way, just contact me (202-654-4848). My best to you, Tessa, your children and your parents. I'm trying to reach you by phone, will keep trying.

AR and Liz Loomis said...

Matt and Tessa,
Our sons attend HTS and we have had the good fortune of getting to know your parents. Thank you for sharing your story. You are a true hero and inspiration. You are in our prayers.
God Bless,
The Loomis Family

marta said...

Hi, Matt and Tessa! Just stopping by to say hello and to tell you to have a great visit with Becky and Bob today. Can't wait for my turn to visit! Keep working hard, Matt! Love and prayers, marta

Anonymous said...


I work with David at Garmin and took a more keen interest in your well being after my own son joined the ARMY. It was as though I became connected to the very large Army family thru him. I also seemed to feel more of the pain you and the many thousands of soldiers and their families suffer. It was hard news to accept when David reported your wounds but I was encouraged to hear of your sense of humor as a member of the really living. I have been praying for preparation in your next assignment or work. Now that you are less you will become more as you grow strong and you will be a blessing to your family and to many who will intersect your path. Good job soldier and thank you for your hard work and sacrifices.

I hope I can one day join you and David on a fishing river trip. By then we will have some treasure to share.

David Laverick

Anonymous said...

First of all, thank you for your service and sacrifice. I want you to know that the other day my six year old son told me that when he was scared he could sleep at night knowing that our soldiers are fighting to keep us safe and free. No mere words could ever express my gratitude or respect in a way that could ever do you or any soldier or sailor justice. Please just know that this comes from my heart. I am a soldiers angel and grew up as a military "brat." My dad was career Coast Guard and Air Force and all four of my brothers served with three in the Air Force and one in the army. My husband is a retired Coast Guard Chief so that said, you and your family are part of our family, simply by being Americans...I know that it is so hard to go through horrific pain. I know that as a nurse caring for people and through personal experience, but there is no pain that can't be overcome by you and your courage. Remember that every day is one day closer to recovery and accept those moments that you waiver and don't necessarily believe it. Your family is your rock and that means all of us our here and countrywide being protected by you. Thank you...I wrote a prayer that I hope helps just a little when you feel like nothing else will. Only the very best in laughter and love to you and your amazing family,
Martha Crowninshield O'Brien and family
Cape Cod Massachusetts....

Dearest Almighty God,
Please give me the strength to deal with my physical and mental pain and anguish so I may live life as You wish me to. Please give me the courage to face my pain and overcome my fears. Please give me the hope that You instill by Your love. Please guide me to recovery so I may be the husband, father, son, brother and uncle You want me to be. Please pick me up when I fall mentally, physically and emotionally, and lift me up during times when I cannot lift myself. Please love and cherish me as I love and cherish You, oh Lord, for You have filled me with the love and strength of my family, my friends, my country and You ,and I am graced with all that I have, which far surpasses whatever I have lost. Thank you God and please guide me with strength, courage, compassion and love through whatever path You have chosen for my life, now and always. Amen.

A Prayer for Matt….by Martha Crowninshield O’Brien RN

July 2,2007

Jeannine Herrera said...

Thank you for relaying the story of Matt's amazing rescue and his
strength in surviving the horrific
explosion. The brotherhood of his fellow soldiers is so strong and the will to bring everyman home is the courage that drives them all.
We think we know what they are going through, we have no idea without revelations like Matt's. Thanks for making us more aware of the lives that so bravely protect our freedom. Our prayers continue,for Matt and his sweet family.
Jeannine Herrera

Anonymous said...

Dear Matt and family,

Thank you for keeping us updated, it provides a much needed connection to you from all that care and love you. Looking at you smiling in these pictures makes me realize what a brave and strong person you are. I hope that my son will be the kind of man you are when he is an adult.
At the moment we are in Michigan and go back to Thailand in August. Your wife and girls are beautiful! Lucky guy! Please give all of your family a big kiss from me. Will write again soon.


Anonymous said...

We continue to pray for your healing and for strength to you and your entire family.
May God Bless You and your whole family.
Tomarrow we will pray the rosary for you and for World Peace.
You are in our minds and heart.
Robert, Linda, R.K. and Charlotte Gamache

Anonymous said...

Hey matt just wanted to check on you! your doing great man keep it up. As far as be being a Hero that is not correct I was not there to help with the evac. It would be wrong for me to take credit for the actions other men took. The men who helped you did a great job and i thank them for helping save a good friend.

PFC Anderson

Ann L. said...

Hey Matt,

Just wanted to say hello and let you know I'm thinking about you. Hope you're giving Becky and Bob some jokes to bring home with them. I'm sure Bob has got a few of his own to share, too! Also, hope the healing process is progressing well and that your pain is lessening, too. You continue to be in my daily thoughts and prayers. Love to you, and Tessa, and the girls.

Love,Aunt Annie :)

Lisa Blaes said...


I just wanted you to know that you continue to be in my thoughts and prayers. Your smile shows such courage and strength. I will continue praying for you, your military friends, your family, and for peace. Give your mom and dad my love.

Peace to you my friend,

Lisa Blaes
HTS Lenexa, KS

Kat said...

Dear Sgt Lammers,

My name is Kathleen Henry and I am with Soldiers' Angels ( in the Kansas City area. One of our other Angels recognized you through your father and sent me this link.

You are a true inspiration and I know through your strength and the obvious love of your family that you will continue to recover and a make a strong life for yourself.

Thank you for your service to our nation. I know there are many who are offering assistance to you. that is what is great about our country and this area. HOwever, if you find you are need of something please contact us as we have connections with several military support associations here in the area as well as the American Legions and such.

You can email us directly at or go to the main website:

One thing that we may be able to assist you with is adaptive clothing that are well made, easy to put on and remove, but are real clothing.

There are many other things that we can assist with.

marta said...

Just a quick hello and I am thinking of you note! lots of love and prayers continue!

Anonymous said...

PFC Anderson, you may not have been there at the time of the explosion, but your name has been mentioned by Matt many times. I am not sure what your role was but in Matt's mind you have contributed greatly to his well being! Thank you.
Matt's Mom, Barbara

Leo Mills said...

It was a honor to meet Sergeant Lammers! A true American Hero! Thank You Matt for your service.
God Bless

Becky&Bob said...

We give our sincerest thanks to all who helped save our Matt and the other soldiers. We recently visited Matt & Tessa, and were extremely moved by the story of his rescue. You are all the truest of heroes.
Thank you again.

Ann L. said...


I just saw some pictures, that Becky and Bob took of you, during their visit. Fantastic! It is so good to see you smiling and up and about!!!! Love to you and Tessa. Keep up the spirits.

Love, Annie :)

Anonymous said...

What a great story of heroic action at its best! We can't wait to see the opportunities that God opens up for Matt to share his story of courage, determination, and faith.
Check out:
Still praying!
David & Dinah Wooddell
from Westside

Elaine Savant said...

Matt, I am Sgt. Savant's mother and I am so proud of him and all of you who are giving the ultimate for all of us, maybe someday we will get to meet. Keep up the good work and I am praying for you everyday. Elaine Savant, Ville Platte, Louisiana

Anonymous said...

My daughter goes to HTS and we have been praying for your successful recovery. We have enjoyed your website and we visit if often. Thank you for sharing your makes this War very real to us at Home. We continue to pray for you. And also for the soldiers who are still fighting for our freedom. Thank you for what you have done for us. God Bless.

Mike, Vicki, Winnie, Maggie and Liam Ryan

Anonymous said...

My daughter goes to HTS and we have been praying for your successful recovery. We have enjoyed your website and we visit if often. Thank you for sharing your makes this War very real to us at Home. We continue to pray for you. And also for the soldiers who are still fighting for our freedom. Thank you for what you have done for us. God Bless.

Mike, Vicki, Winnie, Maggie and Liam Ryan

Derek said...

Derek Said,

It was a honor meeting you and your family at cheeseburger and paradise. you are my true hero and this country's hero. whis you and your family well.


Anonymous said...

Dear Matt, Tessa and children, I can hardly write for weeping. How can we put into words our gratitude to you for willingly going to serve in order for us to continue to live our daily lives over here in safety? We have a grandson who is about to leave for a 3rd tour and we pray for him daily, as we pray for all our wonderful heroes and their families. May God bless you and your sweet family. God bless the heroes who saved your life. We will never forget all of you.
Mary Ellen from Texas

Janice said...

I learned of Matt thru the Wounded Warriors program. Although I don't know anyone involved in the incident, I know each one of them, in my heart. It's true, things happen for a reason and there are no coincidences in life. God bless each and everyone of you. DON'T EVER GIVE UP!!! Matt, you are such an inspiration, thank you for your service so I can go to sleep at night in a protected country. said...

You have been a true friend to me since the day we met. I remember the day I wrote you a letter. I was a member of Soldiers Angels and received your name from the wounded lists that we receive.From the first day that i spoke with you, you have been a real inspiration in my life. You are an awesome person and my 4 children just adore you as I do. You have made the biggest sacrifice any one person could make and yet you can still smile and be as pleasant as ever. My 14 year old son wants nothing more than to grow up to be just like Matt. You have been his role model from day one. You have touched my heart deeply and all of my families heart and can't wait for the day that we all get to meet you and give you a big hug.We wish nothing but the best for you and hope all things go well for you Matt. Thank you for being our hero and role model. We love you Matt Lammers and will never forget the sacrifices you made to keep myself and my family safe.
Kelly Heaton & Family