Amy Cunningham
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When Carley Lintz awoke on the morning of Oct. 12, 2006 at 3 a.m. to the sound of her sobbing mother, she knew life had changed forever, her step-father, Rodney Price, was wounded in Mosul, Iraq while serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Rodney Price, right, grins after receiving a Tryke from AMBUCS, an organization that provides physical therapy trykes for those in need. Price was wounded in Iraq in 2006. His stepdaughter, Carley Lintz gave the keynote address during Veterans Day ceremonies at Gardner Edgerton High School. Staff photo by Danedri Thompson

“I knew no good news comes at 3 a.m.,” Lintz recalled, later learning that her step-father, only in Iraq for 42 days, was injured during a mortar attack on his command post. Price who suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury and is now afflicted with, among other things, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder  “…Our home forever changed.”

The Gardner Edgerton High School junior addressed the gymnasium filled with her peers as well as local veterans and their families during the annual Veterans Day program on Nov. 11, put on by the school district.  She talked about the unsung heroes of war, the soldier’s families, during her speech.

“When we remember our soldiers we often forget about their families at home,” Lintz said. “Those families who have a yellow ribbon tied around their tree, who send care packages and try not to watch the news.”

Lintz spoke about the “new normal” her family now endures as her mother has changed roles from a wife and mom to a caregiver.  She spoke about the wounds that people can’t see, such as Price’s memory loss.

“We didn’t realize when my step-dad left that he would come home a changed man.  I didn’t realize that I would be wounded, too, and look for someone to blame,” she explained.  “I’m still proud to call him my step-dad.”

Lintz said that groups like the Wounded Warrior Project have helped her family along in their journey towards recovery.  She also suggested that honoring veterans was another way to heal.

“Thank you for your sacrifice – this is the greatest honor you can give a soldier or their family,” she concluded.  “I am extremely proud of my step-dad, but he is just one of many.”