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August 22, 2012

War Veterans Recover at Brooke Army Medical Center

More than 624,000 veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan have filed disability claims (both physical and mental), the Military Times reported in January and a recent ABC news report says that according to the Department of Veterans Affairs, there are 1, 286 service members who are now amputees as a result of those two wars. The Iraq and Afghanistan wars have made the term IED (Improvised Explosive Device) a household term. IED injuries result in thousands of US military war wounded suffering from amputations, burns and functional limb loss. The vets spend months (and sometimes years) in outpatient care, many at the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, TX. The BAMC comprises the Center for the Intrepid that is home to the largest inpatient medical facility in the Department of Defense. The hospital is the DOD's only burn center and Level 1 trauma center in the US. Getty Images photographer John Moore takes us inside the hospital, showing some of the wounded's steps to recovery. -- Paula Nelson (33 photos total)

U.S. Army Sgt. Ed Matayka, 34, a double amputee, walks during a session with physical therapist Melisa Howard at the Center for the Intrepid rehabilitation gym at Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC), Aug. 7, 2012 in San Antonio, Texas. Matayka was serving as an Amy medic at Baghram, Afghanistan when an IED blew off his legs, severely injuring his spinal cord and damaging his organs. (John Moore/Getty Images)

Occupational therapist Jennifer Tucker puts a skin compression glove onto the burned hand of Spc. Bobby Bernier, 26, at the U.S. Army burn center, Aug. 8, 2012, in San Antonio, Texas. Bernier, a U.S. Army artileryman, received severe burns May 18, 2012 in Nangahar, Afghanistan when Taliban insurgents attacked his unit, wounding him and a comrade and killing two of his fellow soldiers. (John Moore/Getty Images) #

Burn patient Spc. Bobby Bernier works out during rehabilitation at the U.S. Army burn center, Aug. 8, 2012 in San Antonio, Texas. The facility, officially called the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research Burn Center, has treated more than 930 military personel burned during combat operations in Afghanistan and Iraq since 2003 and is the only national burn center for the U.S. Department of Defense. (John Moore/Getty Images) #

Burn patient Spc. Bobby Bernier looks over his wounded hands at the U.S. Army burn center, Aug. 8, 2012. Bernier, a U.S. Army artileryman, received severe burns on May 18, 2012 in Nangahar, Afghanistan when Taliban insurgents attacked his unit. (John Moore/Getty Images) c #

Chief prosthetist John Fergason measures the residual limb of U.S. Army PFC. Heath Clemons, 21 from Cameron, MO, while fitting him for a leg prosthesis at the Center for the Intrepid (CFI) rehabilitation center at Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC), Aug. 8, 2012. Clemons lost both his legs when he stepped on an improvised explosive device in Maiwant, Afghanistan, May 29, 2012. Thousands of U.S. military war wounded, most suffering from amputations, burns and functional limb loss in Afghanistan and previously in Iraq, spend months, if not years in care at the center. (John Moore/Getty Images) #

Certified Prosthetist Robert Kuenzi laser scans a mold of a wounded soldier's residual leg, or stump, in order to make a computer-guided prosthesis, Aug. 8, 2012. The center's team of prosthetists have made thousands of prosthetic limbs, custom made for the contours of each wounded soldier's remaining limb. While it usually takes specialists at least three days to make a prosthesis, it often takes much longer. Adjustments to the device are then made throughout the soldier's lifetime due to weight changes and the natural affects of aging. (John Moore/Getty Images) #

A computer model of a soldier's residual leg appears on screen after being scanned by certified prosthetist Robert Kuenzi in order to make a computer-guided artificial limb, Aug. 8, 2012. The center's team of prosthetists have made thousands prosthetic limbs. (John Moore/Getty Images) #

Intern prosthetist Amy Gibson works to mold the socket of a prosthetic leg, Aug. 7, 2012.. A team of prosthetists have made thousands of custom prosthetics at the center, most for wounded military servicemembers who have suffered amputations during combat in Afghanistan and Iraq. (John Moore/Getty Images) #

Life-like covers for prosthetic limbs lie atop a locker at the Center for the Intrepid (CFI), at Brooke Army Medical Center, Aug. 7, 2012. Artists paint the rubber covers, complete with custom tatoos, which slide over prosthetic arms and legs made at the center for military amputees. The CFI is the largest rehabilitation center for wounded military servicemembers suffering from amputations, burns and functional limb loss in the United States. (John Moore/Getty Images) #

Prosthetist Del Lipe checks to make sure a soldier's hips are level after receiving artificial legs, Aug. 8, 2012. (John Moore/Getty Images) #

U.S. Army Sgt. JD Williams, 25, a triple amputee, rests after working with physical therapist Melisa Howard at the Center for the Intrepid (CFI), Aug. 7, 2012. Williams lost his legs and right arm on October 2010 when he stepped on an IED while his unit was on a foot patrol in the Arghandab Valley of southern Afghanistan. (John Moore/Getty Images) #

A soldier's prosthetic legs stand at the Center for the Intrepid rehabilitation gym at Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC), Aug. 7, 2012. BAMC comprises the Center for the Intrepid, the San Antonio Military Medical Center, the largest inpatient medical facility in the Department of Defense, and several outlying clinics. The hospital is home to the DOD's only burn center and Level 1 trauma center in the United States. Thousands of U.S. military war wounded, most suffering from amputations, burns and functional limb loss in Afghanistan and previously in Iraq, spend months, if not years, in outpatient care at the center. (John Moore/Getty Images) #

A wounded soldier recovers in a fixed leg stabilizer at the Center for the Intrepid, Aug. 7, 2012. (John Moore/Getty Images) #

Soldiers endure painful physical therapy at the Center for the Intrepid (CFI), Brooke Army Medical Center, Aug. 7, 2012. They were using a newly created prosthetic brace called the Intrepid Dynamic Exoskeletal Orthosis (IDEO), which allows them to use and strengthen severely injured legs. The device was invented at the center by prosthetist Ryan Blanck. (John Moore/Getty Images) #

A U.S. Army soldier and leg amputee scales a two-story climbing wall at the Center for the Intrepid rehabilitation gym at Brooke Army Medical Center, Aug. 7, 2012. BAMC comprises the Center for the Intrepid, the San Antonio Military Medical Center, the largest inpatient medical facility in the Department of Defense, and several outlying clinics. (John Moore/Getty Images) #

A prosthetic hand lies on display as injured U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Sebastian Gallegos, 22, practices hand movements with occupational therapist Lisa Smurr Walters, Aug. 7, 2012. They were working to retrain Gallegos' nerves and muscles to control a new high-tech prosthesis for his amputated arm. He was injured by an improvised explosive device (IED), while on a foot patrol in Sangin, Afghanistan in 2010. (John Moore/Getty Images) #

A prosthesis liner is fitted onto the amputed leg of an U.S. Army soldier at the Center for the Intrepid rehabilitation center at Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC), Aug. 7, 2012. BAMC comprises the Center for the Intrepid, the San Antonio Military Medical Center, the largest inpatient medical facility in the Department of Defense, and several outlying clinics. (John Moore/Getty Images) #

A wounded special operations soldier endures physical therapy at the Center for the Intrepid (CFI), at Brooke Army Medical Center, Aug. 7, 2012. He was using a newly developed prosthetic brace called the Intrepid Dynamic Exoskeletal Orthosis (IDEO), which allows injured servicemembers to use and strengthen severely injured legs. (John Moore/Getty Images) #

Members of the Warrior Transition Battalion play a game of wheelchair baskeball, Aug. 8, 2012 at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas. Many soldiers in the Army battalion are wounded and receiving treatment at the Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC), located on the base. (John Moore/Getty Images) #

Members of the Warrior Transition Battalion play a game of wheelchair baskeball, Aug. 8, 2012 at Fort Sam Houston. Many soldiers in the Army battalion are wounded and receiving treatment at the Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC). (John Moore/Getty Images) #

U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Jesse Medina, 21, kayaks while fishing on the Guadalupe River, Aug. 9, 2012 near Gruene, Texas. Medina lost his right leg when he stepped on an improvised explosive device while on a foot patrol with fellow Marines on Christmas Day, 2011 in Sangin, Afghanistan. The Center for the Intrepid, part of the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, organizes weekly kayak trips as therapy for wounded military personel, mostly war amputees. (John Moore/Getty Images) #

U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Sebastian Gallegos, 22, swims with a specialized prosthetic arm at the Center for the Intrepid rehabilitation center at Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC), Aug. 7, 2012. He was injured by an improvised explosive device (IED), while on a foot patrol in Sangin, Afghanistan in 2010. (John Moore/Getty Images) #

U.S. Army Sgt. JD Williams, 25, a triple amputee, rests after flowboarding on a wave machine at the Center for the Intrepid rehabilitation center at Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC), on Aug. 7, 2012. The wave therapy is designed to improve balance, coordination and strength for injured soldiers, most of whom have lost limbs in combat. Williams lost his legs and right arm in Oct. 2010 when he stepped on an IED while his unit was on a foot patrol in the Arghandab Valley of southern Afghanistan. (John Moore/Getty Images) #

U.S. Army Sgt. Aaron Cumamoto, 26, a single leg amputee, flowboards on a wave machine at the Center for the Intrepid rehabilitation center at Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC), Aug. 7, 2012. The wave therapy is designed to improve balance, coordination and strength for injured soldiers, most of whom have lost limbs in combat. Cumamoto, from Santa Cruz, CA. was injured by an IED in 2007 in Iraq. (John Moore/Getty Images) #

U.S. Army Spc. Matthew Spang, 26, wipes out while flowboarding on a wave machine at the Center for the Intrepid rehabilitation center, Aug. 7, 2012. (John Moore/Getty Images) #

U.S. Army Sgt. JD Williams, a triple amputee, flowboards on a wave machine, Aug. 7, 2012, therapy designed to improve balance, coordination and strength for injured soldiers. (John Moore/Getty Images) #

A library of DVDs is available for wounded soldiers and their family members at the Warrior and Family Support Center at Brooke Army Medical Center, Aug. 9, 2012. Thousands of U.S. military war wounded, many suffering from amputations, spend months, if not years, in outpatient care at the center. The support center is designed to provide recreational, educational and relaxation activities for families and wounded military personel during their long recovery. (John Moore/Getty Images) #

Family members of wounded U.S. military personel line up for a free Italian dinner at the Warrior and Family Support Center at Brooke Army Medical Center, Aug. 9, 2012. (John Moore/Getty Images) #

Wounded warrior family members play bingo at the Warrior and Family Support Center, Aug. 9, 2012 . (John Moore/Getty Images) #

Audience members laugh as comedian and wounded U.S. Army veteran Bobby Henline, 40, performs at the "Humor For Heroes" charity event at the Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club, Aug. 9, 2012 in San Antonio, Texas. Henline was severely burned when his U.S. Army vehicle ran over an IED in Iraq in 2007, killing the other four soldiers riding with him. Henline has received years of treatment at San Antonio's military burn hospital. The facility has treated more than 930 military personel wounded during combat operations since 2003. It has also treated some 2,500 civilian emergency burn patients from the South Texas region. (John Moore/Getty Images) #

Comedian and wounded U.S. Army veteran Bobby Henline performs at the "Humor For Heroes" charity event at the Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club, Aug. 9, 2012. (John Moore/Getty Images) #

The audience laughs as comedian and wounded U.S. Army veteran Bobby Henline performs. (John Moore/Getty Images) #

A skateboarder passes by the Center for the Intrepid (CFI), rehabilitation center at Brooke Army Medical Center, Aug. 9, 2012 in San Antonio, Texas. Thousands of U.S. military war wounded, most suffering from amputations, spend months, if not years, in outpatient care at the center. (John Moore/Getty Images) #


 
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