Losing some of your fingers can make life hard, losing both of your legs can make life a lot more difficult, but losing all of that and your entire groin can make living a somewhat normal life even harder.
But, Lance Cpl. Sean Adams does not have to worry about living life without his most sensitive of organs. Because of ballistic underwear, not only was his leg not blown off all the way to his hip, but his groin was protected as well.
"The doctor, pretty much, said that if I wasn't wearing the ballistic boxers, and groin protector, I would have more than like lost my complete right leg all the way to the hip. And more than likely, my groin area, I would have lost my whole groin area," Adams said.
Adams joined the Marines to fight for his country and to protect our freedoms. He knew the risks going in and said he was ready to sacrifice his life.
On Feb. 10, Adams nearly did sacrifice his life. The explosion took something else - both legs, a thumb and a pinky finger after he stepped directly on an improvised explosive device.
Adams said he was on a routine patrol, spotted an IED in front of him and went to go mark it. That's when he put his combat boot down on the one he didn't see.
"You step, and there was a brief second, a brief millimeter of a second or so. I remember everything, I remember stepping on it, and then I'm staring at the sky," Adams said. I didn't feel anything. Because of the trauma I didn't have any pain. I started doing my body checks, like I'm trained to do, looking at my hands, feeling for my legs. My legs were still there, but they both had to be amputated because of infection."
The ballistic underwear is woven silk. According to Adams, the underwear was designed "to slow all of the shrapnel down."
And for Adams, the ballistic underwear worked perfectly. "Oh, yeah," Adams said.
The 19-year-old isn't ready to be a father yet, but one day he will be able to because of the body armor issued to him by the military.
Being a young guy, that would be more of a life changer than what my injuries already have been to me. I desire to be a father one day. If I had to adopt, I would have. But, I am still in a position where I can have a child of my own," Adams said.
The Marine will return to Walter Reed on July 14 to continue his physical therapy. Adams has been fitted for prosthetics and will learn how to drive a specially designed car to get from one place to another. For Adams, except for not being able to get up and go the way he used to, his life hasn't changed that much.
"I don't want people to cry for me, I don't want people to feel bad because I volunteered to serve my country and it could have cost me my life, and it almost did, but I'm fine," Adams said. "Some days I get up and try standing up and I forget, oh I lost my legs. But that's something I am adapting to and I will continue to adapt."
For the rest of his life, Adams said when he puts on his uniform, he will feel honor, courage and the privilege that can only come with serving your country.
"I bled in that uniform, it means more to me now," Adams said. "My dream was always to be a Marine. I followed my dream, and I am glad I did."
Copyright 2012 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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