TRIBUTE TO A WARRIOR
On February 9, 2002, as Web Master for the IWVPA, I received a poetry submission for consideration for inclusion on the IWVPA site from a bloke and who wrote the following:
Just a little something I wrote in hospital. I’m no poet, but it helped me to write it down, maybe it will help others to read it. I am writing under an alias (a fellow soldier’s name actually) and I would appreciate it if the words would be listed as “Author Unknown”.
The poem was “Words” and the pages that are listed in the index will demonstrate the extraordinary effect that Tor had on our lives, and partly chronicle the events that were to follow over the five months… until his death on June 7, 2002
Anthony W. Pahl
June 8, 2002
Index of Tributes
- Brandenburg: Steve
- Breedlove: Eileen
- Calhoun: Danielle N.
- Cod: Per
- Graham: Linda M.
- Grey Eagle: Rebecca Sara Anne
- Jones: Colin F.
- Pahl: Anthony W.
- Richmond: Randy E.
- Sizemore: Faye
- Subritzky: Mike
- Tieman: Edgar A.
- Waggoner: Ruth
- Weatherford: Charles L.
- Willmoth: Carra
- Woodfork: Thurman P.
THE PASSING OF A WARRIOR
At 15:00 today, Toralf went trough surgery to remove the source of the sepsis. In order to get rid of all traces of the infection it was necessary to amputate his right arm and shoulder. The antibiotics had reduced the effects of the septic shock to a level where they considered it relatively safe to operate. Not much of a choice really since the wound has shown no sign of healing in the six month since the attack and getting rid of the infection is the only chance of survival for people with sepsis. Toralf knew the risk of a septic shock but with the improvement made prior to this, he decided in consultation with doctors and family, not to remove the arm. In retrospect, it is always easy to recognize mistakes, but there was really no way of knowing that this would happen. There is no reason to believe that the sepsis is a direct result of the extensive tests, other than that the stress had a negative effect on his immune system.
Deciding to go ahead with this surgery was no easy call to make. Toralf is in very poor health and removing an arm and shoulder is a major trauma to the body. Because the infected area stretched from the “tip” of the shoulder to the collarbone, it involved removal of bones and redirection of blood vessels. If the operation was successful and all traces of the infection are gone, we should see a positive change in his condition within a relatively short time frame. If on the other hand the procedure was unsuccessful, it is very likely that the trauma will kill him. Even if it was successful, it may be too late.
He is currently in post-op
In thankful respect for your love and care for my dear brother,
25 May 2002
Today is the 6 months anniversary of Toralf’s injuries. He has told me many times in these 6 months that he considers November 25th 2001 to be his dying day, and that every day after that is one more than expected. Like scoring the winning goal on overtime in the world cup (The football fans out there should understand this I think, REAL football that is, not that American rugby-wannabe thing…*evil grin*).
By making it through today Tor has scored the winning goal 182 times. And tomorrow will be his 183rd. I challenge Ronaldo to beat that record in Japan!
Now, smile everybody!
You know Tor doesn’t like you to be sad for him. Be happy for what he’s got, and wish him well for what is to come.
25 May 2002
(Piddi is the nickname of Tor’s brother, Per; himself a Warrior of great distinction)
From: Per Cod
Date: Saturday 08 June 2002 08:24:25 AM (GMT+10)
To: IWVPA Club
Subject: Peace at last
My dear brother Toralf died earlier this evening after a long and hard struggle. He was conscious to the end and the family was present.
There will be a private ceremony sometime next week when Tor will be laid to rest. As per Toralf’s request, there will be no military honour guard and all military personnel attending are asked not to wear uniform.
There will be a memorial service at the base; further information will follow.
Please do not send flowers or telegrams, those wishing to express their compassion and sorrow should make a donation to the Red Cross, Amnesty International, or your local Veteran’s association in stead.
Thank you all for your love and support,
“You get what you give”