More than a thousand American servicemen and women have lost a limb in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Many are now returning to combat thanks to a change in military culture and cutting-edge bionic limbs.
Five amputees have come to Tactical Defense Institute in Adams County for a one-of-a-kind firearms training course. The students, several of them soldiers or military veterans, are part of a pilot program TDI is developing with the help of SRT Prosthetics & Orthotics , a patient care organization that fits amputees with prosthetic limbs from several manufacturers.
“My good leg gets tired before my prosthetic leg,” said Sgt. Jourdan Smith. “This one’s got assistance. I’m trying to keep up with it.”
Sgt. Smith and his platoon were ambushed in Baghdad in May 2007. A round from an insurgent’s AK-47 struck his lower leg. Others in the unit did not survive the attack.