WASHINGTON — Your life changes in an instant, says the spouses, family and
friends of the nation’s wounded veterans.
For those who’ve gone through it, getting a phone call that your husband was
injured by an explosive device is earth-shattering.
“He was injured in Afghanistan [on] July 25, 2012,” Kheida King says of her
husband, Master Sgt. Cedric King.
She wasn’t able to see him until six days later. He had to be stabilized before
coming back to the United States.
Finally, on July 30, 2012, Master Sgt. King was brought to the Walter Reed
National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.
“And we’ve been here ever since,” Kheida King says.
The couple and their two daughters, ages 7 and 11, are living on the campus as
King’s husband lost both his legs (one above the knee and one below the knee),
part of his arm and a finger on his right hand to an explosive. In the
beginning, it was hard for him to walk and stand with prosthetics.
“The recovery process was long and hard,” King says. “But it’s been a wonderful
process and people [at Walter Reed] are amazing. The staff here is so caring, so
giving. There’s a tremendous amount of support here.”
Now, King’s husband is doing triathlons, marathons (he’s completed both the
Boston Marathon and the New York City Marathon this year), and even two half-
“He’s just amazing,” King says. But as a full-time caregiver, she says, there’s
a lot on your shoulders that people don’t seem to recognize.
“You’re still juggling a family, a move here, a medical condition, it’s a lot,”
she continues. “You are front and center, you are the front line. You’re the go-
to person for everything.
In the beginning, I helped change dressings on his wounds. I’ve been there for
every appointment, in the beginning.”
King’s husband couldn’t drive anywhere he wanted to go. It became her
responsibility to take him places and keep track of his medications.
“It’s a lot, and there’s no down time,” King says.
Still, she’s grateful for the tremendous amount of support from the Walter Reed
Initially, their two daughters were just worried if daddy was going to be OK.
They’ve adjusted to his injuries since then.
“They’ve been a great support in his recovery,” King says.