10 January 2010

Soldier's life altering injury turns into unique war love story

Capt. Sam Brown hugs his wife Capt. Amy Brown after arriving in Baghdad Dec. 28, 2009 to take part in Operation Proper Exit. Brown suffered full thickness burns to 30 percent of his body in Kandahar, Afghanistan, but has returned to Iraq to tell his story to service members and help find closure. Photo: Lee Craker.

Although he was injured in Afghanistan, CPT Sam Brown recently visited Iraq as part of Operation Proper Exit in order to talk to troops about his experiences.

While in Iraq, he was also reunited with his wife, CPT Amy Brown, whom he met during his recovery at Brooke Army Medical Center and who is currently deployed at COB Speicher.

Soldier's Life Altering Injury Turns Into Unique War Love Story
Multi-National Corps Iraq Public Affairs
Story by Sgt. Lindsey Bradford

In September 2008, Brown was conducting route security in Kandahar, Afghanistan. He and his Soldiers began receiving indirect fire, which quickly changed to direct fire, coming at them from different directions. As he went to help the men in the M1151 humvees in front of him, Brown entered an enemy engagement area. It was there that he was struck by an improvised explosive device.

"It was crazy for about the next 15 or 20 minutes. You know, the 1151 is on fire, I'm on fire," he said.

Brown suffered third degree burns to 30 percent of his body — mostly places his individual body armor did not cover — and lost his left index finger in the accident. He was evacuated and once in the United States, was taken to Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio; BAMC is a level I trauma center and home to the Army Burn Center.

During his treatment, Brown was assigned a dietician since burn victims tend to have fluctuating weight gain after their injuries.

Enter former 1st Lt. Amy Larsen. In November 2008, she began working with Brown during his recovery. When he was well enough to take convalescent leave, she knew it would be a problem for him to carry a multitude of supplements with him. She arranged to have them shipped to him, and called every week to make sure they arrived.

"When she'd call, I would try to make small talk with her but she was all business," Brown said.

You won't want to miss the rest of this story.

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