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.

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