to the front
soldiers who lost limbs in iraq and afghanistan are doing the unthinkable: going back into battle
[font=verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif]by pat wingert and t. trent gegax
[font=verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif]newsweek
[font=verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif]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."
[font=verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif]url: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7101643/site/newsweek/