Soldier Recovers After Losing His Legs in the Iraq War

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Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: A Veteran tells his inspiring recovery story.

 

Dan Nevins, a retired Staff Sergeant in the United States Army tells the gripping, emotional, and inspiring story of a fateful day in Iraq that left him deathly wounded. Eventually he would have both legs amputated to save his life. 

It was November 10, 2004, when an improvised explosive device (IED) detonated beneath the vehicle in which he was a passenger on an early morning combat mission. “I remember that explosion happening and that my face felt hot and that I could feel and hear the truck disintegrating around my body. And when I opened my eyes, I realized that I was ejected from the vehicle and my legs were caught in the twisted and burning metal that use to be the floorboard and undercarriage of that truck.” Dan goes on to share with great detail what he saw and felt after the explosion and how he was able to save his own life until help arrived. 

He talks about the anger and anxiety he experienced in the hospital for the trauma he was experiencing. “I was setting myself up for a lifetime of disappointment and loneliness.”

He spent sometime working through his anger until one of the founders of the Wounded Warrior project visited him in the hospital with a backpack full of comfort items. “In that moment, it was the most significant gift I had ever received and will probably remain the most significant I will ever receive.” They made a promise to him to be there for him and his family. The Wounded Warrior project came through on that promise over the following 18 months when they encouraged him to take every opportunity to prove to himself that he would not be defined by his disability. 

“I learned a great lesson. I learned that we have to power to make whatever we need to make from our lives. No matter the situation–the circumstance that life throws us.”

PTSD Veteran Recovery

Dan serves as director of Warriors Speak, a prestigious group of wounded warriors and caregivers who have been selected to share their personal, inspirational stories of courage and integrity with the public. By sharing his own story and personal accomplishments, he is an inspiration to his peers and the warriors he serves. 

“Today when I look at this logo, I still see one warrior carrying another off the battlefield. But I relate more now with the one on the bottom. To be that voice, to be that person that is there for someone when they need it. Just like Wounded Warrior project was there for me when I needed it.” 

“We all have the power to be amazing human beings. No matter what situation life finds us in.”

Follow Dan Nevins on Twitter at @DanNevins and the Wounded Warrior Project at @wwpinc.

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