Thursday, June 25, 2009

Veterans not victims, part 8

Lots of guys are wounded in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan and then recover and go back to rejoin their units. But not many have been wounded as dramatically as being stabbed in the head with a nine inch knife.

SGT Dan Powers was attacked by an insurgent two years ago while keeping civilians away from a bomb blast scene. Bad aim by the insurgent was incredible luck for Powers, who was able to grab the man and detain him. It wasn't until the medic came over and told him to sit down that he even knew he had a knife sticking out of his head. Read the full story here.

He had emergency brain surgery at Balad air base in Iraq, another surgery at Bethesda, and months of rehab and physical therapy. He could easily have gotten a medical discharge from the Army and collected Army and VA benefits for the rest of his life. Instead, he rejoined his unit in January, and was scheduled to do an airborne jump with his unit this week. The jump is one of the last things he needs to do to be certified to rejoin his military police unit. In Afghanistan.

Powers acknowledges that his survival tale, circulating within the Air Force’s Air Mobility Command, is “the stuff they make movies out of.” But the soldier in him bristles at the notoriety — or the suggestion that he’s some kind of hero.

In his version of the story, the Army, Navy and Air Force moved the world to save one man’s life.

And he’s just some guy who got stabbed in the brain.

As for the knife wielding insurgent? SGT Powers testified against him in Iraqi court via teleconference from the US. There's a story you'll never hear from the main stream media.

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