When War Knocks on the Front Door

This includes Walter and Cindy Sheets of Lower Alloway's Creek, N.J., whose son, Cpl. Brian Sheets, was injured on Jan. 15, 2007, during his first tour of duty in Ramadia, Iraq, which is located in the Al Anbar Province.

Sheets sustained third degree burns running from his right ankle to his right buttocks and a great deal of shrapnel embedded in his foot when an improvised explosive device, more commonly known as an IED, exploded near his convoy as they were traveling to an outpost.

His parents, however, were never notified by the Marine Corps of their son's injury, either by phone, in person or by letter.

The Sheets eventually found out what had happened when Brian called home. Initially telling his parents that he hurt his foot playing volleyball on the base, he later admitted that he was injured in the line of duty.

While Brian was eligible to return to the states to recover from his injury, he insisted on remaining with his unit, despite the fact that he was out of commission for a month and a half.

"He made us proud of him. He could have used his injury as an excuse to come home, but he didn't. The Lord spared my son's life and it messes me up every time I talk about it," said Brian's father as he ran the back of his hand across his cheek.

Brian, who was awarded the Purple Heart as a result of his injury, and who is scheduled to leave for Iraq for his second tour of duty in January 2008, insists that when his commitment to the Marines is finished in the summer of 2009, he will gladly hang up his boots and move on with his longtime dream of becoming a corporate lawyer.

While Walter and Cindy, who are listed as Brian's NOK, found it odd that the Marine Corps never officially contacted them in any way regarding their son's injuries, Brian Driver, a public affairs specialist for the Marine Corps, insists that the lack of notification of the Sheets family was not an oversight.

In a release provided to ABC News on July 16, Driver states that Sheets was categorized as Wounded in Action (WIA) Not Seriously Injured (NSI), meaning that the soldier is treated and then returned to duty with his unit -- although it would take Sheets six weeks to recover, ideally at a stateside location.

"Marine Corps policy requires telephonic notification to next of kin be conducted by the parent command for wounded Marines categorized as seriously injured or very seriously injured," writes Driver.

Regardless of if they feel deep down that the Marine Corps for which their son is risking his life should have had the courtesy to notify them, the Sheets insist that they hold no grudges.

Whether or not the same can be said for all of the families of those killed or wounded in action is up for speculation.

In the meantime, however, men and women like Bohlman will strive to do their best to care for the families of fallen and injured soldiers, seamen and airmen.

"It's a calling. You just can't retire from it. I think it will be something that I'm doing for a long, long time," said Bohlman.

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