LANDSTUHL, Germany - Three weeks ago, in the unfamiliar surroundings of a base commissary, Brenda Griego watched families pack their carts with cranberry sauce, boxes of stuffing and pre-made pie crusts.
She had arrived in Germany to be at the bedside of her 22-year-old son, Pvt. Eric Griego, who had been shot in the chest in Afghanistan. The bullet had shredded his lungs, an injury that is usually a death sentence.
"I was watching them put turkeys and holiday trimmings in their carts," she said, "and I thought: ‘Are we going to be doing a funeral or are we going to be celebrating Thanksgiving?' "
His father, Peter Griego, wondered the same.