FOB KALSU, Iraq " A Soldier from Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Special Troops Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, surprised an Iraqi soldier this month with a gift of a prosthetic hand donated from a private source.
Maj. Steven Bauer, brigade surgeon, 2nd BCT, presented the gift to Lt. Ceasar Hamed Hassan, military intelligence officer, 2nd Battalion, 4th Brigade, 8th Iraqi Army Division, during a surprise meeting at Forward Operating Base Iskandariyah.
"It is a satisfying end to a long process," said Bauer. "I am happy it works and it fits Hassan perfectly."
Hassan lost his left hand when his vehicle collided with two separate vehicles loaded with bombs during a routine patrol. He also lost his comrades; all the other soldiers inside his vehicle died in the explosion.
Iraqi doctors treated Hassan for extensive shrapnel wounds and tramatic injuries to his left hand and arm. After much debate, his doctors recommended amputation near his shoulder to stop the gangrene and infection from advancing to the rest of his body. Army doctors consulted with the Iraqi doctors and recommended amputating below the forearm to preserve most of the arm, giving Hassan the opportunity to use a prosthetic hand in the future.
Despite the ordeal, Hassan said he continues to push forward and see life with a positive outlook, willing to learn new ways of doing old things.
"I am going to spend some time getting used to the new hand," said Hassan. "I have been able to learn to shoot weapons with one hand, but now it will be easier for me to practice with my new hand."
Hassan concluded, "I am very grateful for the gift the Coalition Forces have given me. I want to thank them for taking time to help me with my situation. I know it took a long time to make something like this possible. I am very thankful."