VIET NOW: Amputees Returning To Battlefield

In an about-face by the Pentagon, the military is putting many more amputees back on active duty — even back into combat, in some cases. Previously, a soldier who lost a limb almost automatically received a quick discharge, a disability check and an appointment with the Veterans Administration.

So far, the Army has treated nearly 600 service members who have come back from Iraq or Afghanistan without an arm, leg, hand or foot. Thirty-one have gone back to active duty. Most of those who return to active duty are assigned to instructor or desk jobs away from combat. Only a few — the Army doesn’t keep track of exactly how many — have returned to the war zone.

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