Juan Carlos Hernandez was a crewmember on a Chinook helicopter with the 101st airborne in Afghanistan, and everyone on board knew they couldn’t dodge danger indefinitely.
“It wasn’t a matter of if it would happen, but when. Something was going to happen,” he said. “You already knew that. We never let it keep us from what we were doing.”
He was right. A rocket-propelled grenade hit his aircraft. It came up through the floor and damaged Hernandez’s foot so badly, a battlefield decision was made to remove most of his right leg below the knee.
“I’m missing my foot, but I’m still alive.” Hernandez said after waking up in Bagram. “I was able to see my friends. It could’ve been worse.”
“I’m missing my foot, but I’m still alive.”
- Juan Carlos Hernandez, wounded in Afghanistan
Jim Penseyres was with 2nd battalion 3rd marines in Vietnam. He was hit by an artillery round and went back into combat. Then he stepped into a booby trap packed with just enough C4 to remove his left leg.
“Because they could use less explosive, it was efficient,” he said.
Ken Butler was with the 82nd airborne East of Baghdad when his vehicle was hit with a combination of 3 Explosively Formed Projectiles.
“Everything looked fine because my arm was there, I just thought it was numb,” Butler said.
Everything was not fine. He had severe injuries including a bilateral sucking chest wound. There was no medic with them. Paratroopers from his platoon dug into their emergency kits and stuffed Butler’s wounds to stop the bleeding.
“If they didn’t do it the way they did, I’d be a goner,” he said.
The next time he was conscious, Butler was in Bethesda and his arm was gone.
“The first time I knew something was wrong was when I felt my shoulders were uneven,” he said.
This is a group of guys who honored a commitment to serve and paid a heavy price. They have earned the option of self-pity, self-indulgence, depression even…dare I say…weakness.
They’ve opted otherwise.
On Saturday morning, at 6:30 a.m., these veterans will join nearly 2,000 athletes and take on a challenge that makes the Boston Marathon look brief and oxygen rich. They are on a team of five wounded vets and two supporters that will line up for the Leadville 100, the highest altitude 100-mile mountain bike race in the world.
The gruelling race through the Colorado Rockies starts at 10,000 feet. The course
To read the whole story, visit here: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2012/08/10/wounded-veterans-bike-against-odds-in-endurance-testing-race/
MOST POPULARAlberto Contador Amgen Tour of California Andy Schleck BMX Bradley Wiggins Cadel Evans Cervélo Chris Froome Cyclo-cross Doping Euskaltel-Euskadi Fabian Cancellara Garmin Giro d'Italia HTC Lance Armstrong Levi Leipheimer Liquigas Lotto Mark Cavendish Mountain Biking Movistar Olympics Omega Pharma Paris-Roubaix Pat McQuaid Peter Sagan QuickStep Rabobank RadioShack Road Cycling Ryder Hesjedal Saxo Bank Shimano Taylor Phinney Team Sky Thor Hushovd Tom Boonen Tour de France Track Cycling Trek Tyler Farrar UCI Vincenzo Nibali WorldTour
- Kenny Butler’s Leadville bike equipped for his prosthetic
- Jim Penseyres Ride to Recovery Rider at the Leadville Trail 100
- Rodgers on Stage 20
- Sean Yates on Sky’s success at the 2012 TdF
- Wiggins jumps on team car after winning the 2012 Tour De France
- Cadel Evans on his 2012 Tour de France
- Dave Brailsford on Cav after Stage 18
- Wilfried Peeters on Quick Steps 2012 Tour De France
- Rusch after the Rush: Silver Rush 50 was really heads up
- Roche on Stage 17 and his own GC standing