LOUISVILLE, Ky. - It's been almost 14 years since Army veteran Bryan Anderson drove over an IED during his second tour in Iraq. During his first, Anderson says improvised explosives were small, almost inconsquential.
When Anderson's humvee struck a roadside bomb on October 23, 2005, the result was catostrophic. Shrapnel thrown from the explosion took his legs almost instantly. Anderson says if he wasn't lighting a cigarrette at the exact moment of the blast he would have lost both hands.
“If I had still be sitting like this, the chunk of metal would have take both of my hands off," Anderson recounts.
On Tuesday, the Chicago native spoke in front of another captive aduience. For the past 11 years Anderson has been a spokersperson for USACares. The group is made up of nearly 200 military counselors from across the globe.
"This was really a motivating discussion for our counselors to really bring it back to home. That’s why we counsel soldiers because of their power, their resilience, their passion and he personifies all of those," Walter Herd tells Spectrum News 1.
Herd is the director of the Army Transition Program which provides counseling to soldiers as they near the end of their tour of duty. Herd says Anderson's story of survial is insipring to those professionals who work closing to service men and women as they prepare for civilian life.
“He personifies more than anything that spirit of resilience and perseverance our soldiers have," Herd adds.