Prior to the Saints game against the Buccaneers last Sunday at Raymond James Stadium, the Benson family, Head Coach Sean Payton and Quarterback Drew Brees met with two special fans – HM1 Holly Crabtree and SSG Cory Remsburg.
Crabtree and Remsburg were both severely injured while serving their country overseas. The Saints brass greeted and posed for photos with the two wounded soldiers. Payton and Brees presented the two with team signed footballs and a personalized signed Saints Super Bowl bat.
While supporting Special Operations Forces at a key leader meeting in Iraq, Crabtree was hit by a sniper. The round penetrated the left side of her head and lodged in her brain. She was evacuated to Bethesda NNMC where she recovered from multiple surgeries ultimately leaving her paralyzed on her right side and bullet remained in her head.
Crabree stayed strong through her therapy, and within three months she had recovered to a point where they were able to remove the bullet and repair her skull.
She returned to the James A. Haley VA hospital in Tampa where she has aggressively perused therapy and achieved the ability to walk without assistance, gain some movement in her arm and exceed all her doctors' expectations.
Remsburg was on foot patrol in Afghanistan when his squad was hit by an IED. He sustained multiple blast injuries, thrown 40 yards into a stream where he was found face down several minutes later. He was recovered, unconscious, and suffering a massive injury to the right side of his head. Barely alive, Remsburg was rushed to the nearest medical facility where it was discovered that he had multiple traumas, the worst of which collapsed and penetrated the right side of his head and brain.
SSG Remsburg has fought gallantly for the last year to survive through endless surgeries, the loss of most of the right side of his brain, loss of use of his right eye, and significant deficits to his mobility. He is currently undergoing treatment and rehab at the James A. Haley VA Poly Trauma unit in Tampa.