After Afghanistan: Learning to Walk Again

Matt Krumwiede is a sergeant in the U.S. Army. Last year, while on patrol in southern Afghanistan, he stepped on an improvised explosive device. Fifteen pounds of explosive tore into his body, destroying both his legs and badly damaging his torso and left arm. Medics on the scene and a quick Medevac flight saved his life but started him on a long, painful journey toward recovery. More than a year later, he has undergone around 40 surgeries and is now learning to walk with prosthetic legs. His end goal is to once again be a soldier in the infantry. Reuters photographer Shamil Zhumatov, who was embedded with Sgt. Krumwiede's regiment last year, happened to be present on the day he stepped on the IED and took several photos of the immediate aftermath, including the painful impact on both Sgt. Krumwiede and his uninjured comrades who remained in the field. Earlier this year, Reuters photographer Jim Urquhart started meeting up with Sgt. Krumwiede, documenting his recovery in Texas -- his support system of therapists, family, and friends, and the daily trials of recovering from such a traumatic set of injuries. This entry is part of the ongoing series here on Afghanistan.

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Ads are being blocked

For us to continue writing great stories, we need to display ads.

Un-block Learn more
Back

Whitelist

Please select the extension that is blocking ads.

Back

Please follow the steps below

Most Recent

  • Czar Dancel / Reuters

    The Philippine Drug Crackdown Has Claimed 2,000 Lives in Two Months

    Rodrigo Duterte, president of the Philippines, has continued his bloody war on illegal drugs, resulting in more than 2,000 violent deaths over the past two months.

  • HVO / USGS

    Lava Flows From Hawaii's Kīlauea Volcano

    The current active lava flow (named “61g”) from Hawaii's Kīlauea Volcano began as an eruption in May, and has spent months making its way to the shoreline.

  • Mark Burns

    An Explorer’s Ode to America’s National Parks

    A 160,000-mile quest to visit all 59 of the country's natural treasures

  • Mohd Rasfan / AFP / Getty

    Photos of the Week: 8/20-8/26

    Lenin underwater, a penguin weigh-in, monsoon flooding in India, an earthquake in central Italy, a deep blue lake in El Salvador, and much more.

Join the Discussion