Amputee Convention

Army Staff Sergeant Heath Calhoun says he lost his legs at age 24 while in Mousel, Iraq.

" The doctor came in and said you know Sgt. Calhoun I;m sorry to have to inform you, but we had to take both of your legs. ((and you?)) Ah, just said as long as my man part are there I'm all right with it."

Marine Staff Sergeant John Jones says he was initally in shock

"At that point you've lost both of your legs. I've got two children and I have a wife, and you know, it kinda hits you what the hell am I going to do now."

Like many amputees heading back from the war both staff sergeants were in their twenties when they lost their legs.
And they aren't ashamed to show them. Their artificial limbs are a result of years of technology and research, and allow the two to swim, ski, and even play basketball.

Calhoun describes the difference between his leg's and those that Jones uses.

" It's a hydraulically controlled micro processor. Where Mike's uses a magnetic fluid, so when you have spark it makes it become thicker or thinner depending upon the spark that it gives. Mine has a hydraulic cylinder motor inside."

Jones says he was amazed just how much he could do with the new prosthesis.

" I went skiing. I sat down in a sit ski on the 3rd day I was catching big air and you know I was doing stuff you know going faster than most regular able bodies people."

Calhoun says his dreams are just as now as they ever were.

" Hope to go to the paralympics in 2010. Go try to win a gold medal."

While not appropriate for everyone who losses a leg, those who are helping vets like Jones and Calhoun realize that the amputees coming home from war have a lot of life ahead of them, and need prosthetics that allow them compete equally for jobs, education, and other challenges.

Their stories are presented here at the Hanger Education Fair, where professionals, and patients gather to learn more about fulfilling the needs of amputees.