Wednesday, March 23, 2011

In U.S. Army, first double amputee leads recruits through basic training


Losing both of his legs did not mean the end of Captain Brian Brennan’s career in the U.S. Army.

Brennan (pictured), 23, has become the first double amputee to lead a company of recruits through basic training at Fort Benning, Georgia.

On May 7, 2008, he was a lieutenant in Afghanistan leading a convoy of the second platoon of Delta Company, 506th Infantry Division, 101st Airborne, when his Humvee struck a roadside bomb near the village of Zambar. Brennan went into cardiac arrest.

He sustained an acute brain injury, a collapsed lung, internal bleeding, a ruptured spleen, multiple compound fractures of his left arm, and a shattered femur. Like his gunner, Brennan lost his legs in the blast that also killed two other soldiers and a civilian.

He endured extensive rehabilitation, and with the help of advanced prosthetics,

Brennan put himself in a position that no other amputee has by leading young soldiers through basic training. Only a handful of others like him are still in the Army at all, performing less physically demanding duties.