On Sunday we published this feature on 1st Sgt. Mike Leonard’s long road to recovery since he lost a leg an Afghanistan almost three years ago while serving with a Joint Base Lewis-McChord Stryker brigade.
I wanted to talk to him because he’s years into his rehabilitation, and I felt he could teach us about what challenges lay ahead for families of recently wounded Lewis-McChord soldiers coming home from last year’s major deployments. As his wife says, learning to live with prosthetic limbs can feel like “two steps forward, three steps back.”
Several of the younger Lewis-McChord soldiers who lost limbs in Afghanistan last year are sharing frequent updates on their progress over social media outlets, such as Facebook. Here some links to their pages so you can show some support and follow their rehabilitation.
Here’s Spc. Josh Wetzel, who’s going to become a father this year according to his latest posts.
Capt. Edward “Flip” Klein lost three limbs. He’s been meeting many high ranking visitors and making steady progress at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, according to his wife’s posts.
Pfc. Cody Coopenberg suffered extensive burns in July and went in for a major surgery today.
Sgt. Jordan Sisco lost both legs. He recently went home to California’s Inland Empire for a holiday visit.
1st Sgt. Leonard told us “There’s nothing that can prepare you mentally for being a wounded soldier.” Here’s hoping these soldiers have good friends around them to help them on their way.