While serving with the First Brigade Combat Team of the Fourth Infantry Division on June 8, of this year, Sergeant Brian Fountaine, a 24-year-old tank commander from Dorchester came under attack which resulted in the loss of both his lower legs. This was Brian's second tour of duty, one that he volunteered for. During his first deployment his unit routinely came under attack from mortars and rifle fire. But he volunteered for mission after dangerous mission. Although the potential for death or injury was everywhere, he added: "I accepted the fact that I was a soldier. And I expected this to happen, either a loss of limb or a loss of life."
During his next tour, when the two bombs detonated under the Humvee carrying Fountaine, it was the fifth time that the soldier had survived an improvised explosive device.
He knew, as soon as he found himself face-first in the dirt beside the truck, that he had been hurt badly. The sight of his mangled feet and fractured legs, spewing blood as his wounded driver screamed in agony nearby, gave Fountaine a gory glimpse of his future.
"I knew I would become some sort of an amputee," said Fountaine, massaging the stumps of his legs, amputated 10 inches below the knees. "I won't be able to feel the grass between my feet or the sand under my toes, but the important thing is I still have my life."
That sacrifice has been profound; excruciatingly exacted from Fountaine's body by two large bombs on a dusty road a dozen miles north of Baghdad
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