On Patrol

Until every one comes home | The Magazine of the USO

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Brendan Marrocco is all smiles at the conclusion of the benefit concert in 2010. Photo by Mike TheilerBrendan Marrocco is all smiles at the conclusion of the benefit concert in 2010. Photo by Mike TheilerIt’s been nearly four years since the day Brendan Marrocco should have died, since the day a roadside bomb designed to pierce armor ripped through his vehicle in Iraq, slicing off his arms and legs.

That he is alive is no small miracle. The Army specialist’s injuries were unimaginable, but his body armor had minimized the damage just enough. From Camp Speicher to Balad to Landstuhl, Germany, and back to the States, his doctors refused to let him die.

ON★PATROL first wrote about Marrocco in 2010 when his community in Staten Island, New York, came together and raised $150,000 toward a wheelchair-accessible home. It was a dream come true for Marrocco, but he had a bigger dream.

More than two years later, inside a Baltimore hospital, cameras rolled and shutters clicked as Marrocco wheeled himself to the front of the room and explained how it felt to be the beneficiary of a successful double-arm transplant.

He spoke of new arms and a new life. Read more and watch video of Marrocco from The Associated Press.