By Lee Roop
August 31, 2018
If you were looking for Huntsville soldier Michael Brown on Friday, you needed to search 30 feet under water in the U.S. Space and Rocket Center's dive tank.
Two thumbs up from a re-committed soldier
Staff Sgt. Michael Brown gives two thumbs up when he surfaces after taking a re-enlistment oath at the bottom of a dive tank. Brown wanted to celebrate the passion he developed for diving since it became part of his rehabilitation from losing a lower leg in combat in Iraq.
Staff Sgt. Brown, a combat veteran and wounded warrior based at Redstone Arsenal, went to the bottom of the tank to take his oath of re-enlistment from fellow diver and Lt. Col Gary Blount.
Brown chose the center's Underwater Astronaut Trainer "as a fitting location to marry his two passions, the Army and scuba diving," the Army said in a press release. It's where Brown loves to be, and that's something of a surprise to him and everyone else.
"In 2007, two years after joining the army, my left leg was blown off below the knee," Brown explained after surfacing. It happened in Mosul, Iraq, 33 days after he deployed during Operation Iraqi Freedom. An RKG-3 anti-tank grenade hit Brown, and he was evacuated to Walter Reed Army Hospital where military doctors have learned how to perform surgical miracles.
Brown got specially designed prosthetic leg and also something to think about. "I was taught to scuba dive as part of adaptive rehabilitation - to think outside the box about what my 'new normal' could be," Brown said Friday.
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