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Old 06-19-2009, 07:19 AM
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Default Battle's battle is over now

Tomorrow afternoon, the Patriot Guard Riders escorting one of Fayetteville’s finest will visit Fayetteville. Can you imagine something like this happening in 1968? In December 2007 Sgt. David Battle stepped out of the M1A1 tank that he was assigned to in Baghdad and stepped on an IED that immediately blew off his right leg and hip and the left leg just below the knee. He's also had to have his right arm amputated above the elbow but he's still breathing thanks to immediate medical attention. He was eventually sent to Walter Reed where he's more than 100 surgeries and gone through agonizing PT to get used to and able to work with his artificial leg, foot and arm. He'll have to have many more surgeries over his lifetime. He's been at WRH since Christmas Day 2007 and tomorrow will be his first time home here with his wife and three children. The Patriot Guard has rehabbed his house here so that the good Sergeant can get around inside of his home and early tomorrow afternoon this town will literally shut down and it's people will line the streets to welcome him home with his motor cycle escort which will be escorted by the Fayette County Sheriff's Department from the county line on Rt. 85 to Sgt. Battles home on McDonough Rd. not too far from the Nash Farm where the Confederates welcomed Federals back in 1864. Too bad those other Yankee’s went across the Flint River on the Fayetteville / Lanier Rd. to Jonesboro.
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Old 06-19-2009, 08:48 AM
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Welcome Home, SGT Battle, good and faithful servant.

PRESENT ARMS!!!!!!!!!!!!

ORDER ARMS.
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Old 06-25-2009, 08:54 AM
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On yesterdays front page, Fayette County Citizen News
Tue, 06/23/2009 - 5:21pm:
Sgt. Battle arrives amid controversy
By: Ben Nelms
Maryland charity takes back house built for triple amputee as dispute swirls around homes
Flags have waved, crowds have saluted, and the soldier has come home, but controversy still swirls around Sgt. David Battle, his wife Lakesia, and two handicapped-accessible homes in Georgia that the family may, or may not, have intended to live in.
Battle is a 23-year-old triple amputee who, in December 2007, had part of his body blown off as he served his country in Iraq.
Battle and his family arrived in Fayetteville Saturday on their way to their renovated house off County Line Road just inside the Clayton County line as hundreds of well-wishers lined the way and law enforcement and Georgia Patriot Guard riders led the escort.
It’s the Fayetteville house that set off a national fracas. A charity in Maryland last week withdrew its offer to donate a new home near Washington built specifically for Battle and his family.
The Fayetteville home has recently undergone a complete outfitting of the basement through the efforts of Patriot Guard Riders of Georgia and the contribution of materials and labor by Atlanta’s Parker Young Construction, according to Patriot Guard Riders of Georgia Capt. Michael Louviere.
The controversy involving Battle involves whether ownership of the Fayetteville house violated provisions of the contract Battle signed with Homes for Our Troops in mid-2008 for the charity to raise approximately $800,000 to construct and outfit a 2,400 square-foot house in Maryland.
Speaking Tuesday, Homes for Our Troops President John Gonsalves said the organization works with numerous veterans who have no means of securing property. He said his organization was told by Lakesia Battle that the couple did not own property in Georgia and that the Fayetteville property was owned by her cousin.
Gonsalves added that on the initial application it was noted that the couple would be homeless once David was discharged from the Army. Things changed, said Gonsalves, when he confronted Lakesia recently with evidence that the couple did own the properties.
“In light of what we discussed with home ownership, we felt we had no choice (on the decision to withdraw the offer of the Maryland home),” Gonsalves said. “They would not have been selected if we knew they owned property and it was being rehabbed. She should have told the truth.”
Beyond the issues with the home, and speaking of David Battle as a soldier, Gonsalves said his organization honors everything David has done for his country and that he is glad David has a support system in place.
Commenting on the controversy after he arrived in Fayetteville Saturday afternoon, Battle talked about the $100,000 insurance benefit that all soldiers with injuries such as his receive from the military. In his case, Battle said he and his wife thought it best to invest the money in foreclosure homes to provide a revenue stream for the future. That happened before the Maryland house contract entered the picture.
“We never thought that this good use of the insurance payment would become a problem. Knowing that we would be visiting this area from time to time, the Patriot Guard of Georgia offered to make the basement of this house accessible for me,” Sgt. Battle said. “We did not intend to settle here permanently, as for the next two to three years I still need rehabilitation at Walter Reed (Army Hospital near Washington).”
Battle went on to say he had expected to live in the Maryland house built by Homes for Our Troops.
“But because (Homes for Our Troops) decided that our purchase of investment houses violated their agreement they cancelled our move into this new home,” Battle said, also noting his respect for Homes for Our Troops. “I have the greatest admiration for their work and commitment to a noble cause.”
Maryland residents Dr. Norman Wallis and Inga Guen know David perhaps as well as anyone outside his family. They have come to think of him as a son. During his stay at Walter Reed, Battle — after coming out of a coma — met Karim Peter Guen who, as part of his outreach with the Order of St. John, would spend many days with the wounded soldier. Karim later introduced Battle to his parents, Inga Guen and Dr. Norman Wallis, who live in the area. It was from that point that a friendship and a bond formed.
Speaking of the controversy over the Maryland home, Wallis said a more detailed look at the circumstances might have benefited both Homes for Our Troops and David Battle.
“I think the best thing they could have done for David and for their organization would have been to delay their decision until they could make a thorough review (of the issues),” Wallis said.
As much as nearly anyone, Inga Guen knows David Battle, the man.
“He’s my very special hero. David is a man of few words and very endearing human being. I saw this beautiful, beautiful young man and fell in love with him,” Inga said. She talked about how the quiet, shy soldier came around to opening up to a stranger that became a friend and of the 100 surgeries he had already endured. “We would talk about what had happened and about his wounds. We talked about his many challenges in the war and the many challenges he faced when he came back to America. David was robbed of a normal life, but I don’t think of him as being disabled. I want to be a constant in his life. I want him to know that he can count on me.”
Unknown to many, said Inga Guen, is that David was raised by his grandmother. She died while he was in Iraq. Inga and David both found a place in each other’s heart, Inga explained in a conversation with The Citizen over the weekend.
“On Mother’s Day this year David said, ‘You care for me like a mother, worry about me like a mother and love me like a mother.’ He had tears in his eyes. I had tears in mine. He said, ‘I am a soldier. I did what I did because this was my job,’” Inga said, her own emotion evident.
That was not the first occasion of a Mother’s Day where Sgt. Battle had made his feeling known for the family that had come to consider him one of their own. It was on that day in 2008 that David, aside from the cookies and chocolate-dipped fruit presented to her on other occasions, gave Inga his Purple Heart. It is gift she carries with her constantly, and will return once his surgeries are complete so that it can be framed and mounted at his home.
Regardless of the controversy over home ownership, Inga and Norman said they continue to count their blessings for having met their hero at Walter Reed, a hero who continues to mean so much in their lives.
It was on Dec. 18, 2007, during Battle’s second tour in Operation Iraqi Freedom that he nearly lost his life. Battle left his M1A2 Abrams tank to clear the area, when he stepped on an improvised explosive device (IED).
He suffered severe wounds resulting in the loss of his right leg and hip and his left leg below the knee. His right arm was later amputated above the elbow. Battle’s internal injuries caused his stomach to be open for three months and he lost a portion of his liver. He was on dialysis for over two months and on life support for three months, according to Patriot Guard Riders of Georgia.
Battle was also in a coma for a portion of his hospital stay and has endured 100 surgeries, with more to come, friends said. Until last week, Walter Reed Army Medical Center had been David Battle’s home since Christmas Day 2007.
In Fayetteville Saturday, somewhere between 400 to 500 people assembled around downtown Fayetteville, along Ga. Highway 54 to Jeff Davis, along McDonough Road at Hwy. 54, at McCurry Park and, finally, in and around the subdivision off County Line Road.
Sgt. Battle is far from finished with the surgeries and rehab at Walter Reed that he will need to put his life in order.
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Old 06-26-2009, 12:31 AM
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