Monday, March 16, 2009

Master Cpl Jody Mitic

Master Corporal Jody Mitic along with three other soldiers, were on a routine early morning patrol, in search of insurgents in the Panjwayi District. The three other soldiers passed through a door in a mud wall separating two grape fields without incident, but Jody wasn't so lucky. For some unexplained reason, his foot found the land mine the others had missed buried beneath the Afghan soil, it only took a split second, an instant in time, to change his life forever. His right foot was gone and his left foot could not be saved.

One of the medics who treated him at the scene, Sgt. Alannah Gilmore, is now his girlfriend, and the two have a six-month-old daughter named Aylah.

But while he has had to undergo months of painful rehabilitation and is relegated to a desk job with the army, Mitic says he is content with his new life.

"Life as an amputee is a whole new lifestyle," Mitic said Monday on Canada AM. "But meeting Alannah and then getting together and then having little Aylah, I wouldn't trade any of it to have my legs back. I'm pretty happy with the way life is now."

Upon his return from Afghanistan, Mitic underwent extensive rehabilitation at St. John's Rehab Hospital in Toronto, a facility that has treated many injured soldiers.

"Military folks, we're pretty much hard chargers, mission orientated for the most part," Mitic said. "And when I got hurt my mission was to get back to life, to get things back to normal."

Mitic was fitted for prosthetic legs so he could continue running, a common activity for soldiers to keep fit.

He was part of a military team at Sunday's Achilles Canada five-kilometre race, a fundraiser for disabled runners.

Mitic hoped to raise $100,000 for new equipment for the hospital. He also shaved seven minutes off his run time in only his second time completing a five-kilometre run with his prosthetic legs.

Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Walt Natynczyk, who joined the military team for the run, praised the soldiers who remain committed to military service despite suffering such severe injuries.

"They go and serve and make tremendous sacrifices, their family makes sacrifices, and when they do get wounded they still have that sense of duty and service," Natynczyk told CTV Toronto on Sunday. "That's why they're out here."

According to Natynczyk, more than 100 Canadian soldiers have lost limbs since the Afghan mission began in 2002.

With files from The Canadian Press

1 comment:

Crypt said...

This country of ours, has never ceased to field some of the finest fighting men and women to be found anywhere. The history of Canada's military is a long and proud one.

MCpl. Mitic is certainly one of many valiant foot soldiers who have served with such distinction in Afghanistan. They all have served to once more vindicate and quantify the outstanding quality of our Forces.

As a fellow Vet and a rider, recently recovering from a very nasty accident last year, I find Jody to be truly inspirational.