Sunday, February 21, 2016

Amputee Soldier Returns To Active Duty

Prosthetic maker helps injured veteran return to service
Post Bulletin
Brett Boese
February 20, 2016
"It's no longer enough to fill the pant leg for a lower extremity amputee. We must give them the tools and training to achieve their highest level of activity, while being constantly aware of comfort and safety."
Brandon Sampson
Limb Lab opened its downtown Rochester location in 2014 with a modest staff of four to fill its unique 3,000-square-foot facility, which routinely draws curious looks on Broadway due to expansive windows that reveal manikins with prosthetic limbs.
Contributed photo
Dan Metzdorf lost his right leg in a roadside blast that killed three of his fellow soldiers during a 2004 tour in Iraq. Metzdorf refused to give up his dream of serving in the military and successfully petitioned to return to his unit.
Arizona's Dan Metzdorf suffered life-threatening injuries in a roadside blast that killed three soldiers during a 2004 tour in Iraq. His right leg was amputated to stop the bleeding and save his life.

After being outfitted with an $50,000 prosthetic leg at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., the paratrooper of the 82nd Airborne Division refused to give up his childhood dream of serving in the military. He created a stir throughout the ranks after petitioning to return to active duty, garnering support from many high-ranking officers through a dedicated campaign. Still, it took three official requests before he was allowed to return to his unit, Bravo Company.

That decision by the U.S. Army ultimately allowed Metzdorf to become the first above-the-knee amputee to stay on active duty, where he eventually joined the Golden Knights elite airborne unit.
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