Disabled veterans recovering at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center found inspiration in the first-ever amputee to run Olympic track, Oscar Pistorius. The London Olympics was filled with inspiring moments, but servicemembers returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with missing limbs found the achievement of Pistorius particularly inspiring.
While not everyone with an amputated limb can go on to compete in world-class athletics, prosthetics have come a long way in recent years, and some of the vets at Walter Reed were excited to find out they would be able to run around with their kids like they used to. New York veterans who are missing limbs or are otherwise disabled may need to apply for disability benefits if they are not able to work. Even if veterans are unable to work, new advances in prosthetics are improving many people with disabilities' quality of life.
According to a recent article in USA Today, 45 percent of 1.6 million veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have applied for disability benefits or compensation for wounds, injuries or illnesses suffered during their service. The quality of life of these hundreds of thousands of wounded veterans for years to come will depend on the care they receive following their service. It also can't hurt to have some heroes to look to for inspiration on the road to recovery.
Source: USA Today, "Olympic Blade Runner' inspires U.S. servicemembers," Janice Lloyd, Aug. 3, 2012
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