A SOLDIER’S STORY: Triple amputee Bryan Anderson’s life after War in Iraq


Bryan Anderson was born and raised in suburban Chicago, Illinois. Raised by his two parents and two siblings.

Anderson’s youth was spent competing in gymnastics at a competitive level.

He decided to enlist in the United States Army in April 2001.

 His deployment date was on September 11, 2001. He served two tours of duty in Iraq.

On October 23, 2005, his life would change forever. While driving a Humvee during a routine mission to visit Iraqi police stations, an IED road bomb went off and soon the soldiers career in the military would come to a startling end.

“I was awake for most of it,” said Anderson.

As a result of the explosion, he would lose both of his legs and his left hand.

WASHINGTON – AUGUST 18: Bryan Anderson (R) gets stretched by Kristin Valent during a physical therapy session at Walter Reed Army Medical Center August 18, 2006 in Washington, D.C. Anderson, an Army Military Policeman, lost both his legs, his left arm and severely damaged his right hand when an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) exploded near his Humvee October 23, 2005 during his second tour of Iraq. He is one of four triple-amputees to survive the war. For nearly a year he has been undergoing rehabilitation at Walter Reed. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Due to the impact of the explosion, Anderson spun backwards in his seat, and lost both his legs and left hand immediately. Adding to his injuries, Anderson’s right lung collapsed when the bomb hit. He credits his smoking habit for saving his right hand. Anderson said he usually has both hands on the steering wheel, but because he was smoking, he only had his left hand resting on the wheel. Immediately after learning about the severity of his wounds, Anderson cracked a joke to his friends. After being transported by helicopter, he lost consciousness and awoke one week later

Anderson was awarded the Purple Heart because of his injuries.

“They cut my hands and my legs off instantly. My hand was in the passenger seat my legs were on the floorboard,” said Anderson

Today, Anderson brings motivation in his truest form. His heart.

“He said after thinking about it I could feel sorry for myself I could do a lot of things and if i’m going to be this way I’m at least going to have fun. I’m going to do something,” said Founder and Chairman of Texas Wounded Warrior Foudnation Dick Goetz.

Anderson has been seen in television series like CSI to coming to East Texas where he shares his story to young students.

“When he wheels in on his wheelchair those kids have met him before many of them and they give him a standing ovation. They recognize he has a disability that will be with him for the rest of his life. He’ll never have two legs and an arm again,” said Goetz.

“i’m trying to inspire change in the world.”

It’s been just over 14 years since in order to walk it requires prosthetic legs and most days he doesn’t use them.

“It’s there this is the way I am. Move on and create the life you want to live,” said Anderson.

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