Memorial day is a day to recognize and honor those who have died while serving in the military. I want to expand that recognition and honor those who have lost a limb while serving our country.
My first prosthetist informed me that many Vietnam vets lost their legs during their time in the service. Because of them, prosthetic technology had come a long way. When I was getting a leg in the mid eighties, the Seattle Foot, the newest prosthetic foot, made its debut, boasting its ability to help amputees run. By having a newly designed spring action foot made from carbon fiber, the technology offered amputees an alternative to the previous clunky foot.
I’ve written previously about how far that technology has come; I now have the newest technology with the “C-Leg” that I wear and plug in every night. The microchip in this leg reads what my foot and ankle are doing – about 50 times a second – and adjusts the knee accordingly. It’s really kind of amazing.
From what I can tell on Google, nearly 1,000 people have lost a limb in the Irag war. Many of them have defied limitations and have gone on to continue in the service. I know a lot of advances have been made because so many people have made the sacrifice and paid a price to serve our country.
I give thanks to the many amputee vets, past and present, who have given not only to their country but have helped the advances in prosthetic technology.