WASHINGTON, D.C. (Army News Service) -- A soldier injured Dec. 30 when his military vehicle hit a land mine arrived at Landstuhl Army Regional Medical Center, Germany, for further evaluation.
Spec. Martin John Begosh, assigned to the 709th Military Police Battalion, arrived at Landstuhl hospital Jan. 3, said hospital spokeswoman Marie Shaw. She reported that Begosh is in stable condition and is being evaluated by orthopedic doctors at the hospital.
Begosh, the first U.S. casualty in Operation Joint Endeavor, was driving the lead vehicle in a four-vehicle reconnaissance patrol near Bijela, Bosnia-Hercegovina, 15 miles south of the Sava River, when his Humvee hit an anti-tank mine. The TMM-1 mine packed with 12 pounds of high explosives detonated, destroying the front end of the Humvee and nearly taking Begosh's right foot with it, according to The Washington Post.
The 23-year-old received first aid at a Swedish checkpoint by a Swedish doctor prior to being taken by helicopter to the 212th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital, located about 10 miles north of the river.
Two Army surgeons, Majors Jim Smith and Darryl Cuda, moved Begosh to the advanced trauma life support station, where they checked his vital signs and made a small incision in his abdomen to check for internal bleeding. Cuda, an orthopedic surgeon, then labored for four hours to reassemble the shattered bones in Begosh's right foot. The surgeons also made incisions in the muscle tissue in both legs to relieve the intense swelling, according to the Post.
Begosh was awarded a Purple Heart medal by Maj. Gen. William L. Nash, the U.S. forces commander, Dec. 31.
The 709th MP Battalion patrol's mission was to reconnoiter and mark the entry routes branching south from the Bosnian river town of Orasje, particularly the main highway to Tuzla, to aid the Army's effort to span the Sava and push the 1st Armored Division's 7,000 vehicles into northeast Bosnia. The soldiers were tacking up neatly printed road signs marking the route when they realized the final installment of the Sava bridge had been postponed Dec. 30 due to technical problems. The patrol turned around and was looking for another route when the incident occurred.