Hidden Nook

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Sunday, March 06, 2005

Soldiers who lost limbs returning to fight

[Media Source*]

Photo from Alex Majoli/Magnum for Newsweek

Now advances in medicine mean more amputees are surviving, and today's high-tech replacement limbs let them lead active lives—something soldiers like Metzdorf aim to do in uniform.

So far, fewer than a dozen have been declared "fit for duty," and many more are training for their comebacks.

It looks like the President has encouraged their efforts after visiting Walter Reed in 2003. Such determination and willing sacrifice brings me to tears. One of the soldiers stories (Daniel Metzdorf) is below.

From Newsweek, March 14 issue:
Army S/Sgt. Daniel Metzdorf figured his career as an infantryman was over when he lost his right leg to a roadside bomb in Iraq in January 2004. But back at Walter Reed Army Medical Hospital, Metzdorf saw other amputees ambling by on high-tech prosthetic legs and had a crazy idea: he wanted to go back into battle with the 82nd Airborne.

It was a long and painful struggle. The 28-year-old had 19 operations and faced hours of grueling rehab, first learning to walk again, and then to run and swim. Confident that he was ready, Metzdorf applied for reinstatement. But instead of a new post, the Army had another offer: a medical discharge.

To a fighter like Metzdorf, quitting didn't seem like an option. "I told them, 'I'm not going to get out'," he says. He applied—and was rejected—twice more before he won over one important ally, his unit commander, who weighed in on his behalf. Finally, the Army relented, assigning Metzdorf to a desk job at Fort Bragg, N.C. He's still angling to get back to combat duty in Iraq. "I'm still an asset," Metzdorf says. "I just want to give back as much as I got."

You don't see this type of dedication and character in the hearts of our enemies (i.e. terrorists). One can only appreciate the sacrifice that these guys give and dedicate to not only keeping us free but establishing freedom for others as well.

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By Darnell Clayton • 11:09 PM • Email Post • •


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