On 9 January 2003, 31-year-old Staff Sergeant Mike McNaughton of Denham Springs, Louisiana, a member of the Louisiana Army National Guard, was serving with the 769th Engineer Battalion in Afghanistan, scouting for land mines. Suddenly, according to Sgt. McNaughton, "I closed my eyes for a second going up in the air and then landing on the ground, and that's when I just --I knew exactly what happened." Sgt. McNaughton had stepped on an anti-personnel mine, and in the resulting blast he lost his right leg, as well as the middle and ring fingers of his right hand and a chunk of his left leg. Sgt. McNaughton was evacuated to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany for immediate treatment and later flown to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., for follow-on care.
While recuperating at Walter Reed, Sgt. McNaughton was honored to receive a visit from President Bush. One of the subjects of common interest they discussed was running, and the President extended an invitation to Sgt. McNaughton to come running with him once he was up and about.
In April 2004, Sgt. McNaughton and his family made the trip to Washington, and -- true to his word -- the President went for a run with him. [...]
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