During a telephone conversation with CMR President Elaine Donnelly on June 20, Sgt. Grant said that the accident occurred when her transportation unit, which had moved hundreds of pieces of heavy equipment and tanks through Kuwait in preparation for the Battle of Baghdad, was shifting a tank from a flatbed vehicle. She was holding a signal device near the tank when gears unexpectedly shifted and her legs were crushed.
Sgt. Grant praises members of her crew and the helicopter rescue team who prevented her from bleeding to death. She is upbeat, courageous and working hard at a nearby rehabilitation facility to regain her strength and ability to walk.
The accident does not appear to be a result of changes in the rules affecting women in support units, but it provides an object lesson on the inherent dangers of military life. Since the story does not fit the idealized “women warrior” image, it is not likely that book and movie producers will shower her with gifts and movie offers. (Most men who returned from the war received no special attention either.)
The nation is grateful to Sgt. Casaundra Grant and many members of the military who paid an exceedingly high price in service to their country. She has not asked for outside help, but CMR has contacted journalists and notified larger organizations that might be willing to provide assistance during her recovery.
Vet Has Hope After Accident Claimed Her Legs
San Antonio Express-News
By Amy Dorsett
Web Posted : 05/02/2003 12:00 AM
The first time her 2-year-old son asked to see her legs, Army Sgt. Casaundra Grant refused. When he persisted, Grant relented and showed the boy what remained — two stumps, one above, the other below the knee.
Sgt. Casaundra Grant, a soldier from San Antonio, lost her legs in an accident in Kuwait. Blane Davis III didn't cry or shriek or hide his eyes. "The first thing he did, he came over and prayed for my legs," Grant said. "He understood."
Grant, a 1996 graduate of Business Careers, part of Holmes High School, was pinned under a tank that she was helping move in Kuwait on March 12. She immediately lost her left leg, and eventually her right. But the 25-year-old, who's stationed at Fort Hood, is grateful to have survived.
A single mother, Grant has an easy smile that belies her injuries. "I have God on my side," she said Thursday at Brooke Army Medical Center, where she's recovering. "I'm not blaming anyone for this accident."
Media-shy until recently, she decided to tell her story. Grant has been at BAMC for two weeks. She spent more than a month being treated at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington. While there, she was able to meet "lots of generals" and President and Mrs. Bush. "I had everybody important sign my book," she said.
She's undergoing physical therapy and will eventually be fitted for prosthetic legs that will allow her to return to her hobbies, which include working out and shopping. For now, she keeps in contact with her unit, which remains in Kuwait. "I miss them; I miss working over there," she said. "We have a family over there." As soon as her unit returns to the country, they have vowed to visit
her, something Grant is looking forward to.
Grant's brother Kris Cosby was at her side at Thursday morning's news conference. "I love her to death," he said. "I'm real proud of her and glad that she's home."
Grant said she is without bitterness. She said she'd rather focus on recovery. "I'm just happy I'm alive," she said. "I have to get on with my life."
Grant said she's not sure if she wants to return to her Army career, if she were to be allowed. "That's a really hard decision," she said. "The Army was fun, but my family's a great power, too." Shellie Walker, Grant's mother, described her daughter as courageous.
"She's always been my little feisty one," Walker said. "I'm very proud of her — she's my hero."