WASHINGTON - As the nation mourns and remembers the thousands of people killed and wounded during the attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C. 11 years ago today, a local soldier faces more surgeries - and many days, weeks and months into of recuperation - after losing most of his left leg from a roadside bomb in Afghanistan.
U.S. Army Sgt. Vincent Reynolds, 24, a 2006 graduate of Bellefonte Area High School, is a patient at Walter Reed Army Medical Center after his foot and much of his left leg were destroyed by an IED (Improvised Explosive Device) last Monday.
"I was scouting for my platoon in one of the hostile villages in the area and found three IEDs in this road. I found them and used an EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) to dispose of the bombs and removed them," he said Monday, talking from his bed after his latest surgery on his right hip, which was also severely injured in the explosion.
From left, Army Sgt. Vincent Reynolds of Bellefonte while on patrol; Reynolds with his 2-year-old daughter, Raylee, while recuperating at Walter Reed Army Medical Hospital; and him with his Purple Heart he received after suffering injuries in Afghanistan. Below, Reynolds with his family outside the hospital in Washington, D.C. last weekend.
"I decided not to continue on that road... there were too many IEDs and I took a side trail. That's where I stepped on it. There was nothing to indicate there was an IED there at all," Reynolds said.
"When it happened... I felt the blast... It threw me about 15 feet. I didn't even realized what happened, so I tried to get up - I was more concerned about my guys - and I tried to stand up and I didn't have a foot. I immediately fell back over and got on my radio and called for my medic."
For the complete story, see today's print edition of the Lock Haven Express.