Wounded Warrior

The Road Home From an IED to Idaho (Photos)

In one step, Sgt. Matt Krumwide’s life changed. Here, the moments before and after the blast in Kandahar, an arduous recovery, and an emotional return to his hometown.

Shamil Zhumatov/Reuters

U.S. Army Sgt. Matt Krumwiede, from the 5-20 Infantry Regiment attached to 82nd Airborne Division, walks while on patrol in the Zharay district of Kandahar province in this June 11, 2012, file photo. Krumwiede was on patrol in Afghanistan in 2012 when he triggered an improvised explosive device, which tore away both of his legs, damaged his left arm, and ripped open his abdominal cavity. Since then he has undergone dozens of surgeries and spent time recovering at Brooke Medical Center in San Antonio, learning to walk again with the use of prosthetic legs.

 

Photographer Jim Urquhart has been chronicling Krumwiede's recovery, which culminated in his June visit to his hometown of Pocatello, Idaho, for the first time since he was injured. Here, the soldier's journey from a routine patrol, the immediate aftermath of the blast (captured by Reuters photographer Shamil Zhumatov), and his arduous path home.

Shamil Zhumatov/Reuters

U.S. Army soldiers secure an area as a medic treats Krumwiede, just after he wounded by an IED in southern Afghanistan, in this June 12, 2012 file photo.

Shamil Zhumatov/Reuters

A blood-covered M4 rifle belonging to Krumwiede lies on the ground after he was wounded.

Shamil Zhumatov/Reuters

U.S. Army soldiers carry Krumwiede toward a Blackhawk Medevac helicopter.

Jim Urquhart/Reuters

Krumwiede takes a phone call as his hand is massaged by his mother, Pam, after he was admitted for an infection at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, in this Nov. 4, 2013, photo. 

Jim Urquhart/Reuters

Krumwiede practices walking at the Center for the Intrepid at Brooke Army Medical Center, on Aug. 1, 2013. 

Jim Urquhart/Reuters

Krumwiede plays a drumming computer game during occupational therapy, on Aug. 1, 2013.

Jim Urquhart/Reuters

Krumwiede sits in pain while his friend Sgt. Jesse McCart and his mother talk, after a day of hunting at a ranch outside San Antonio, on Nov. 2, 2013. 

Jim Urquhart/Reuters

Pam Krumwiede tends to her son's wound on Nov. 3, 2013.

Jim Urquhart/Reuters

Krumwiede prepares to put on prosthetic legs to practice riding his longboard at the Center for the Intrepid, on Feb. 24, 2014. 

Jim Urquhart/Reuters

A welcome sign is seen in front of Sgt. Matt Krumwiede's home in Pocatello, Idaho, on June 30, 2014. 

Jim Urquhart/Reuters

Krumwiede (right) walks from an airplane with family and friends as he returns to his hometown, on June 29, 2014. 

Jim Urquhart/Reuters

Matt Krumwiede left) relaxes with his twin brother, Sgt. Mark Krumwiede, as they spend time with friends at their home, on June 30, 2014. 

Jim Urquhart/Reuters

Sgt. Matt Krumwiede wears a wristband in memory of his friend Sterling Wyatt, who was killed in Afghanistan, while he does physical therapy, on Feb. 24, 2014.