Brian Kolfage Motivational Veteran Speaker

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One Airman’s Motivational and Inspirational Story

September 11, 2004, started out like any other day in Iraq for Tucsonan Brian Kolfage. But it didn’t end that way. “A 107-millimeter rocket landed next to me and exploded,” the Airman recalls. “It blew off both of my legs, and my right hand had to be amputated. Normally people don’t live through that.” At the time, he was the most severely injured soldier to survive. One of the main reasons Brian lived is because the explosion happened on base, which meant help was available immediately. Brian spent two months in a hospital room at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and another 10 months at Fisher House near the hospital while he underwent physical therapy. “I got my prosthetic legs while at Walter Reed and I had reconstructive surgery on my left hand,” he remembers. “The explosion  had nearly destroyed my thumb on that hand, so the surgeon did a bone graft: he took bone from my hip and put it in my left hand so that my thumb remained operable.”

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