Madisonville, KY (PressExposure) April 17, 2008 -- Spc. Matthew Bushong, U.S. Army (Ret.) of Madisonville, was deployed to Iraq with the 82nd Airborne Division in June of 2006. This was to be his second deploymentâhe spent five months in Afghanistan in 2005âand would soon be cut short in September when he and 9 others were attacked by mortar rounds while on a mission in Yusafiya, Iraq, leaving 9 casualties and one fatality.
âWe had just finished eating chow and all of a sudden, a mortar came in and landed about six to seven yards away from me,â remembered Bushong. âAfter it happened, my right arm went limp and there was a lot of blood so I knew that I had been hit. Then it was just a waiting game for the choppers to come in to get us.â
One of Bushongâs close friends died on the scene.
Bushong had been hit by shrapnel all over his body â30+ pieces in totalâand sustained a hole the size of a quarter through his right arm. The wound created severe nerve damage, leaving him with âdrop wristâ and an unusable right hand.
He was medically evacuated to a field hospital in Balad, and then on to Landstuhl, Germany a few days after that. Eventually he made his way to Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
âI worried I was going to lose my arm, but the doctors assured me that I wouldnât,â Bushong said. âI had severe nerve damage which meant that my right hand was basically limp and unusable. It sucked to learn that I could no longer hold my weapon.â
Bushong remained in active duty until July of 2007 when he was medically discharged. He received a 90% disability rating from the VA, and now resides in Cary, North Carolina.
A recent 2007 survey states that 92.3% of severely wounded veterans have reported having trouble sleeping upon returning home. Craftmatic is hoping to combat this problem through Craftmatic Cares, a program that donates one adjustable bed a week to severely wounded veterans from the War on Terror. Specialist Bushong learned that he will be this weekâs winner.
âIt was hard adjusting back into civilian life, after living with the military mentality for so long,â Bushong said. âI donât sleep very much, I tend to toss and turn.â
Craftmatic beds have proven to help those with severe injuries get more comfortable and sleep soundly through the night.
âCraftmatic is very honored to donate this weekâs bed to Specialist Bushong,â said Eric Kraftsow, Elevation Bed, LLC owners of the Craftmatic trademark. âThe Craftmatic Cares program was designed as a way for the company to give back to those who have given so much of themselves for our freedom. Spc. Bushong is a perfect candidate because his injuries have prevented him from getting a good nightâs sleep. We hope that now, he will be able to wake up fully rested.â
For more information about Craftmatic, please visit [http://www.CraftmaticCares.com]