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Green Beret returns to service after amputation

Green Beret returns to service after amputation

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By Maj. Thomas Cieslak (USASOC)April 19, 2016

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. — A Special Forces noncommissioned officer has returned to full active duty service two and a half years after his hand was amputated to free him from underneath a vehicle before a suicide bomber could strike a deadly blow against him and his team.

Sgt. 1st Class Ivan Morera, a Miami native and a Special Forces Medic, continues to serve with the 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne), despite being severely wounded in a vehicle roll-over in Afghanistan.

In August 2013, an insurgent on a motorcycle drove up to the front-left tire of the MRAP All-Terrain Vehicle that Morera was driving. Aware of intelligence reports stating insurgents were employing suicide bombers on motorcycles, Morera swerved to avoid the attacker. The insurgent pursued Morera's vehicle, even as he swerved multiple times. The final time Morera swerved, the vehicle went off the road. When he over-corrected to return to the road, the vehicle began to roll over. While the vehicle flipped, the driver's side door next to Morera broke off its hinges and combat lock.

"I woke up and noticed my hand had been crushed. I called out for my team sergeant. He unstrapped himself and put a tourniquet on my arm," said Morera recalling the aftermath of the roll-over. "He called over my junior medic who put an additional tourniquet on and they had to complete the amputation in order to pull me out of the vehicle."

In addition to the loss of a…

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