A Wounded Soldier Strives to Return

Armored with humor, a severely wounded National Guardsman picks up his life and plots his return to the battlefront in Iraq

I can drink beer out of my leg. How many people can do that?" Specialist Matthew Braddock takes a breather from the pound of pork ribs he's packing away to show off his prosthetic leg. The 25-year-old National Guardsman props his mechanical limb on the picnic table so everybody at Rudy's Country Store and Bar-B-Q can see. Then he rolls up the sleeve of his battle-dress uniform and points to the long, wide, nasty scar left by the explosion that took his leg in northern Iraq a year ago. People come by afterward to slap him on the back and thank...

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