Tom Deierlein Getting Better Every Day

  • by , Featured Contributor, February 15, 2007
I've written several times in the past about our online industry colleague Tom Deierlein, Dynamic Logic's COO, who was unexpectedly called up by the U.S. Army in November of 2005. Tom, a West Point grad, was a former airborne ranger, but had been out of a uniform for thirteen years. He was deployed to Iraq last year, to help build public projects in Baghdad's Sadr City, probably the most dangerous place in the entire war zone. As most of you know, Tom was seriously injured this past Sept. 9 when a sniper's bullet shattered his pelvis, and since then he has been at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. Tom has been sending regular email reports, so, knowing how much he means to so many in our industry, I thought that I would devote this column to his latest email, which I received on Tuesday:

I stood up for the first time Dec 22. I walked that same day using parallel bars. I rapidly moved from walker to crutches to a cane over the next month.

Over the holidays I had the chance to meet President Bush, Secretary Rice, and Secretary Gates.



I am now at the VA Spinal Cord Injury Rehab Center in Tampa, Fla. I am participating in an 8-week intensive rehab program to begin to address my remaining medical limitations. Walter Reed was nice for recovery and now that I am in rehabilitation phase I am here at the poly-trauma center to finish off until I return to NYC and Dynamic Logic in late spring/early summer.

I am now walking with a cane and my goal is to give up my wheelchair altogether by this Friday. It has been a long road and the road continues but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Even though I am technically an inpatient, so far they are being pretty good about letting me leave the hospital overnight and return in the morning for my therapy. But, Hiwot [Tom's wife] has headed home to Atlanta to finally go back to work at Delta so when they find that out they will not be as apt to let me out alone. Basically, I am trying to avail myself of all the medical assets and rehab facilities without having to stay in my room night after night. After 6 months of hospitalization, I have had enough. Please send any mail to:

MAJ Thomas J Deierlein
James A Haley VA Hospital - Spinal Cord D
13000 Bruce B. Downs Blvd
Tampa FL 33612

It is kind of strange to be proud of the fact that I can now bathe, feed, and clothe myself -- but I am!! After months of relying on others to do it -- it feels GOOD. Slowly but surely I am getting my physical strength, endurance, and flexibility back. More slowly than surely but I make progress each day.

We can't wait to have you back, Tom. We're all praying for you. Get back soon.

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