Photo By Spc. Erik Warren | Sgt. Maj of the Army Raymond Chandler poses for a photo with Spc. Scott Balestra from Ironhawk Troop, 3rd “Thunder” Squadron, 3d Cavalry Regiment Aug. 23, 2014, at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas during his recovery after an explosion in Wardak province, Afghanistan. (U.S. Army photo courtesy of Command Sgt. Maj. Roger Heinze) (Released)
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PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan (August, 27 2014) – Spc. Scott Balestra, Ironhawk Troop, “Thunder” Squadron, 3d Cavalry Regiment, suffered a leg amputation from an explosion that took place in Wardak province on Aug. 5, 2014.
Balestra is currently recovering quicker than expected at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas and is busy working out and conducting physical therapy to recover from his recent injury. He is currently undergoing the “shrinking” phase of recovery. The shrinker moulds his injured extemity into a form that will allow him to fit into a prosthetic. It is common for the shrinking phase to be very painful but Balestra finds the shrinker to be more comfortable than just bandages.
Balestra’s medical team is ensuring his injured leg is flexible and strong. Balestra is still continuing to maintain his whole body fitness while he is in the hospital.
“My long term goals haven’t changed,” said Balestra. “I want to get out of the Army and go to college and live with my fiancé.”
Balestra’s fiancé, Raoaa Edmon, is in her final year of college at Baylor University. She travels to San Antonio, Texas every weekend from Waco, Texas to visit. Balestra’s parents and other family have visited him at BAMC but return to their jobs in Ohio.
Balestra is in high spirits and very willing to share his story with personnel back in Afghanistan“When the explosion went off, there was no hesitation from the guys in my platoon. I told them I needed a tourniquet and no one freaked out; everyone did their job -- that’s why I’m alive,” Balestra recalled. “They got me down the mountain. The quick reaction force was there on time. They loaded me on the helicopter. Everything was ready and smooth. It’s what saved my life.”
The leadership from 3d Cav. Regt.’s Rear-Ready Detachment will travel from Fort Hood, Texas to BAMC to visit Balestra and encourage him during his recovery. Previously Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond Chandler visited Balestra and wished him well.
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This work, 3d CR troop recovering ahead of schedule, by MAJ Vance Trenkel, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.