News From the Cause
As more U.S. soldiers lose limbs in Afghanistan, doubts about a war that's "winding down" (CBS News)
July 05, 2012
(CBS News) BETHESDA, Md. - After the Supreme Court rulings Thursday, President Obama met for three hours with 52 wounded service members being treated at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Maryland.
The last American combat troops are expected out of Afghanistan by the end of 2014. But don't tell the troops at Walter Reed the war in Afghanistan is winding down. Amputations -- many of them multiple -- have gone up to more than 20 a month.
Staff Sgt. Eric Meyers was on his third tour in Afghanistan when he stepped on a booby trap -- a so-called improvised explosive device made from fertilizer smuggled in from Pakistan. He lost both legs.
Far from being over, the fighting in Afghanistan "is starting to pick up," Meyers said. "All the fighters from Pakistan are starting to show back up ... so it's starting to pick up. Pretty intense."
And while people in the U.S. may thing the war in winding down, "Over there, on the ground, it's not winding down," he said. "It's still ust as intense as it was."
Lance Cpl. Chad Ohmer was also hit by an IED.
"They're bad. They're bad. There's a lot of them out there and that's what's getting most of the people out there," Ohmer said.
Ohmer, whose wife is expecting, was on his second tour in Afghanistan. He said it wasn't any less intense on his second tour.
"No, not really. They're still fighting. Just seems like the more we push, the more they bring in more and keep on fighting," he said.
Ohmer did not lose any limbs, but the physical therapy room is filled with soldiers and Marines who have.
Lance Cpl. Timothy Donley lost both his legs and very nearly his right arm as well -- where he now has an enormous scar. Click here to view more