How I Lost My Hand But Found Myself

Correspondent Michael Weisskopf had his right hand blown off in Iraq. This is the story of how he rebuilt his life — and what he learned from the soldiers who lost even more

In his book Blood Brothers, TIME senior correspondent Michael Weisskopf weaves his own tale of losing a hand in Iraq with the stories of three soldiers who also spent time at Amputee Alley, Ward 57 of Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington. In this excerpt, the action begins on Dec. 10, 2003, as Weisskopf, 57 at the time, is on assignment in Baghdad, riding in the back of an open humvee along with TIME photographer James Nachtwey and two young soldiers, Private Orion Jenks and Private First Class Jim Beverly.

The army convoy rattled through Al-Adhamiya like a carnival roller...

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