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 Septembermom
 
posted on October 17, 2004 08:57:21 AM new
Paratrooper Who Lost Leg in War Re-Enlists

Sat Oct 16, 8:10 PM ET U.S. National - AP


By ESTES THOMPSON, Associated Press Writer

FORT BRAGG, N.C. - George Perez lost his leg to a roadside bomb in Iraq (news - web sites) more than a year ago, but despite the phantom pains that haunt him, he says he is determined to prove to the Army that he is no less of a man — and no less of a soldier.



"I'm not ready to get out yet," he says. "I'm not going to let this little injury stop me from what I want to do."


Perez, 21, still feels the sweat between his toes when he exercises. He's still plagued with nagging cramps in his calf muscle. And sometimes, when he gets out of bed at night without thinking, he topples over.


He is one of at least four amputees from the 82nd Airborne Division to re-enlist. With a new carbon-fiber prosthetic leg, Perez intends to show a medical board he can run an eight-minute mile, jump out of airplanes and pass all the other paratrooper tests that will allow him to go with his regiment to Afghanistan (news - web sites) next year.


On Sept. 14, 2003, Perez, of Carteret, N.J., and seven other members of his squad were rumbling down a road outside Fallujah when a bomb blast rocked their Humvee. Perez recalls flying through the air and hitting the ground hard.


The blast killed one of Perez's comrades. Perez felt surprisingly little pain, but when he tried to get up, he couldn't. He saw that his left foot was folded backward onto his knee. His size 12 1/2 combat boot stood in the dusty road a few feet away, still laced.


A photograph of Perez's lonely boot transmitted around the world and spread across two pages of Time magazine became a stark reminder that the war in Iraq was far from over.


Doctors initially tried to save part of Perez's foot. But an infection crept up his leg, and Perez agreed to allow the amputation below the knee joint.


"I was going to stay in no matter what," he recalls telling the surgeons. "Do whatever would get me back fastest."


Perez was left with a rounded stump that fits into the suction cup of the black carbon-fiber prosthetic leg.


When he arrived at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., for his rehabilitation, Perez asked a pair of generals who visited his bedside if it was possible for him to stay in the Army.


"They told me, 'It's all up to you, how much you want it,'" he says. "If I could do everything like a regular soldier, I could stay in."


He wasted little time getting started. At one point, a visitor found him doing push-ups in bed. He trained himself to walk normally with his new leg, and then run with it.


Perez has to rise at least an hour earlier than his fellow soldiers to allow swelling from the previous day's training to subside enough for his stump to fit into the prosthetic.

But it is a comfort for Perez to know he's not alone.

At least three other paratroopers in the 82nd have lost limbs in combat during the past two years and re-enlisted. One of them, Staff Sgt. Daniel Metzdorf, lost his right leg above the knee in a Jan. 27 blast. He appealed three times before the fitness board allowed him to stay on.


"I think it's a testimony to today's professional Army," says division commander Maj. Gen. Bill Caldwell. "I also think, deep down, it is a love for their other paratroopers."

In July, amputee program manager Chuck Scoville of Walter Reed told a congressional committee that amputations accounted for 2.4 percent of all wounded in action in the Iraq war — twice the rate in World Wars I and II.

Perez is one of about 160 service members who have fought in Iraq and Afghanistan who have passed through Walter Reed's amputee patient program. The military says it does not track the number who choose to stay in the service.

"It isn't something that historically we've had to deal with a whole lot," says Lt. Col. Frank Christopher, the surgeon for the 82nd Airborne.

Today, Perez looks every bit the part of paratrooper — tall, in ripped-ab shape and serious-looking. His uniform is sharply creased, his maroon beret sits at an exact angle above one eye and the black leather boot on his good leg gleams with a mirror shine. The only thing that sets him apart at a glance is the white running shoe on his prosthetic leg.

Perez has to go before another medical fitness board to determine whether he will be allowed to jump again. He also must pass the fitness test for his age — run two miles in just under 16 minutes and do at least 42 push-ups and 53 sit-ups in two-minute stretches.

For now, he must content himself with a job maintaining M-16s and M-4s, machine guns and grenade launchers in his company's armory. But his dream is to attend the grueling Ranger school at Fort Benning, Ga., a serious challenge to even the most able-bodied soldier.

"I got a lot of things to do," he said. "I want to do as much as I can, as much as they'll let me."

Editor's Note: Associated Press reporter Allen G. Breed contributed to this report.
















 
 parklane64
 
posted on October 17, 2004 12:30:39 PM new
Maybe they should be allowed to qualify under the reduced standards for women......

__________

Hebrews 13:8
 
 Linda_K
 
posted on October 17, 2004 03:30:40 PM new
I think that would be a fair thing to do, parklane. Especially since they want it so much.
----

It always gives me goose bumps when I read about brave young soldiers like this. I wonder where they've gotten their drive/motivation from. But they sure make our Nation proud....especially when one considers how many would never serve their country under any circumstances.

Thank heaven there are men [and maybe women] serving today. God bless them one and all.



 
 crowfarm
 
posted on October 17, 2004 03:38:13 PM new
More of linda's pompous blather,
""It always gives me goose bumps when I read about brave young soldiers like this. I wonder where they've gotten their drive/motivation from. But they sure make our Nation proud....especially when one considers how many would never serve their country under any circumstances.

Thank heaven there are men [and maybe women] serving today. God bless them one and all. ""





This is a person who thinks bush, a traitorous coward who was too scared to go to Vietnam to defend his country, should be president!!!!!!!!

Then she says, "and maybe women" !?


MAYBE!?!? DUH! Ya think ????


And the "god bless them one and all" ?

Sorry, linda, someone you have never heard of named Dickens already used that.





 
 Twelvepole
 
posted on October 17, 2004 03:43:47 PM new
Notice how crowfart couldn't address the topic but needed once again to feebly attempt to deride Linda's comments...

This is a brave person and should be commended...


AIN'T LIFE GRAND...

Re-Elect President Bush... the only true choice.
 
 kiara
 
posted on October 17, 2004 03:47:08 PM new
Thank heaven there are men [and maybe women] serving today.

And maybe women?

There are about 59,000 female troops that have gone to Afghanistan and Iraq.

Yes, they are all very brave.

 
 Linda_K
 
posted on October 17, 2004 03:49:31 PM new
LOL twelve...I don't think anybody expects much different from her, it's been basically her MO since she got here.


I'm beginning to thing she's not a she....but rather a he. Too much built up hostility for a woman, imo.



 
 kiara
 
posted on October 17, 2004 03:51:40 PM new
Female Troops in Iraq

http://www.womensenews.org/article.cfm/dyn/aid/1899

 
 Linda_K
 
posted on October 17, 2004 03:52:39 PM new
oh good...now kiara's tagging along with cf too. oh brother.


So much for posting to the thread topic...no...much more fun to criticize. How petty.
 
 kiara
 
posted on October 17, 2004 03:55:49 PM new
Get real, Linda_k. I just thought I would give you some information because you are uninformed about female troops in the military and right away you have to take it personally. Sheesh!

How about I say that you and your son are a tag team since you showed up together? DUH!!

 
 crowfarm
 
posted on October 17, 2004 04:04:31 PM new
Notice how lindatwelve avoids the issue here....how she backs bush who NEVER served in combat because he was too drunk and YELLOW!


And then has the nerve to attempt to honor REAL soldiers.....I don't think they want it from her.

 
 kiara
 
posted on October 17, 2004 04:06:25 PM new
Her son is in the military and he's never informed her that there are women there also? Strange......

 
 crowfarm
 
posted on October 17, 2004 04:24:27 PM new
No, Kiara, she only SAID she has a son in the military....doesn't make it true.

 
 Linda_K
 
posted on October 17, 2004 04:25:54 PM new
kiara, only you and cf would lower yourselves and show your complete stupidity and pettiness that would even suggest I might think women don't serve.


Grow up...


[ edited by Linda_K on Oct 17, 2004 04:28 PM ]
 
 kiara
 
posted on October 17, 2004 04:33:33 PM new
Thank heaven there are men [and maybe women] serving today.

That wasn't my stoooopid statement that suggested that, was it?


 
 crowfarm
 
posted on October 17, 2004 05:12:52 PM new
Now let me see....where did I read this?????


""" Linda_K
posted on October 17, 2004 03:30:40 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I think that would be a fair thing to do, parklane. Especially since they want it so much.
----

It always gives me goose bumps when I read about brave young soldiers like this. I wonder where they've gotten their drive/motivation from. But they sure make our Nation proud....especially when one considers how many would never serve their country under any circumstances.

Thank heaven there are men [and maybe women] serving today. God bless them one and all. """"


Oh, I think this is where I saw the following stupid statement, "Thank heaven there are men [and maybe women]""

And, of course, stupid people are usually sexist as linda displays in this sentence,
"I'm beginning to thing she's not a she....but rather a he. Too much built up hostility for a woman, imo."

Now, as we all know there are NO hostile women, right? Well, who thinks linda is hostile....let's see....loves war and bloodshed, approves torturing children, hates the poor, the needy, the elderly....hates paying taxes....hates, hates, hates...
And, of course, linda doesn't know that women serve in the armed forces of many countries so she doesn't know they can get very hostile...as hostile as they want.

linda, your low level education is showing again. Didn't know who Dickens was, do you?

Well, he was Martin Luther's little brotherLOLLOLLOLLOL




 
 Reamond
 
posted on October 17, 2004 06:32:59 PM new
Paratrooper Who Lost Leg in War Re-Enlists

Looks like the Bush economy is even worse than we thought.


 
 crowfarm
 
posted on October 17, 2004 06:54:59 PM new
Hey Reamond, don't hold your breathe waiting for a reply from linduh....she's hiding out in the "New Toy" thread after being humiliated in here and another thread.

 
 Twelvepole
 
posted on October 17, 2004 07:27:51 PM new
Humiliated? only POS that goes from thread to thread t obe humiliated is you crowfart...

Don't you have some deaf and blind "husband" to take care of? You seem to spend an awful lot of time here... must be some man...



AIN'T LIFE GRAND...

Re-Elect President Bush... the only true choice.
 
 logansdad
 
posted on October 18, 2004 06:08:21 AM new
Her son is in the military and he's never informed her that there are women there also? Strange......


That's beacuse Linda gets all her information from the Al Jazera network. She has a direct feed into her house so she is always up on the latest news.


There's an old saying in Tennessee — I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again." —George W. Bush, Nashville, Tenn., Sept. 17, 2002
----------------------------------
"Give it up for George W. Bush, the best friend international jihad ever had."
 
 logansdad
 
posted on October 18, 2004 06:13:08 AM new
Paratrooper Who Lost Leg in War Re-Enlists

Looks like the Bush economy is even worse than we thought.


Did you hear the story about the marine who went to serve in Iraq when he knew his wife was pregant with quintuplets on the way. He was given the chance to stay home but did not. He felt it was more of a duty to serve his country then to stay home and take care of his wife and 2 children and the 5 that were on the way.

Needless to say he was almost killed in a roadside bumb.

In my opinion this soldier was a complete *ss. I wonder how his wife would have taken care of his seven kids if he had gotten killed.






There's an old saying in Tennessee — I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again." —George W. Bush, Nashville, Tenn., Sept. 17, 2002
----------------------------------
"Give it up for George W. Bush, the best friend international jihad ever had."
 
 
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