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thedrifter
02-19-06, 12:32 PM
Marine gets fresh air, haircut
By Sandy Miller
Times-News writer

TWIN FALLS -- Marine Cpl. Travis Greene was doing so much better Thursday he was even back to working on those six-pack abs.

"They put him on the workbench and he does his crunches there," said his mother, Sue Greene, in a phone interview Thursday afternoon from the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.

The Marine also got a chance to go outside for some fresh air.

"It's 65 degrees and it's beautiful outside today," Sue Greene said. "It's just like spring."

Greene, 24, a 1999 Twin Falls High School graduate and a star on the Bruin track and field team, lost both of his legs in an explosion Dec. 7 in Ar Ramadi, Iraq, just west of Baghdad. One Marine was killed and three other Marines and one Navy corpsman were injured. They transferred to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in nearby Washington, D.C., about a month ago and Greene is expected to join them soon. Once there, he will begin another long journey of intensive physical therapy and learning to walk again on prostheses.

But the hard work of getting strong again has already begun.

"He's down there a good hour," his mother said of his physical therapy regimen at the Bethesda hospital. "They have him sitting up and they're making him balance with one hand. They make him reach for different objects high and low. He sat up for 13 minutes today. That's a long 13 minutes. He also did some work on transferring himself out of the wheelchair and on to the table. After they work with him on sitting up and balancing, he lays back down and does his crunches."

He's up to two sets of 65.

Greene also went down to the hospital's barbershop and got a haircut.

"It's the Marine high and tight," Sue Greene said.

She said her son will be transferred to Walter Reed as soon as a bed opens up, which could be as early as next week. When he's strong enough and up on his prostheses, he'll become an outpatient and will stay at the Mologne House, a motel with a dining room on the Walter Reed campus.

"Once he is up on his legs and everything, they will pair him up with a roommate," Sue Greene said.

And the Marines will probably tell his parents that one of them needs to go home, she said. She said her husband, Terry, will return to Twin Falls and she will stay on at the Mologne House, though her husband will come out and give her a break from time to time.

Greene was on his third tour of Iraq when he was injured. He was recently awarded the Purple Heart and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal.

Times-News writer Sandy Miller can be reached at 735-3264 or by e-mail at smiller@magicvalley.com.


Keeping in touch

As Marine Cpl. Travis Greene recovers at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., friends and strangers alike have written touching messages of support in his guestbook on the family's CaringBridge Web site. Greene's parents also provide daily updates on their son's condition. To read more, or to leave a message, go to the Web site at http://www.caringbridge.org and click "visit." In the first box, type "travisgreene" and click again on "visit."

Story published at magicvalley.com on Friday, February 17, 2006