Injured Marine returns home for the holidays - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Injured Marine returns home for the holidays

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By Lori Brown - bio | email | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Lance Corporal Sean Dial is quickly adjusting to his life without one leg.

The 21-year-old Marine said he just needs the other part of his brain to do the same thing.

"You know, the brain doesn't understand that the limb is gone," said Dial.  "So the nerve endings that would send a message to my brain to wiggle a toe are still there.  So the message gets sent, and it gets to there, and it hits a brick wall and freaks out."

Just over six weeks ago, Dial was in Marjeh, Afghanistan.  He said at the time it was the most violent place in the world for Americans.

Dial was on a mission to find an Improvised Explosive Device planted by the Taliban.  Bad intelligence likely put him in harm's way.

"My lead guy swept it with a metal detector, checked it.  He took two steps to the right," said Dial.  "I took one step forward and, bam, got hit."

"To me, I'm expecting this TV explosion where you fly 20 feet," added Dial.  "For me, it felt like taking a leg out of a chair, I just feel straight forward.  And then it sounded like a video game.  You heard boom, then ding, a ringing in your ears.  Instantly it's like, whoa, you're just kind of dazed."

"They call it fog of war," he continued.  "Where you're disoriented, there's dust and debris everywhere."

Dial was only scheduled to be in Marjeh for two more weeks.

"I roll over and I'm like, seriously?" said Dial.  "This isn't fixable.  It had to be by the grace of God that I didn't feel any pain."

But Dial said he now feels pain.  Sometimes the pain is tolerable.

"Other times, it comes just like that, and it's so intense," said Dial.  "It's the craziest thing in the world.  You can't take just a regular pain medication for it."

Dial said the hardest part is not being there for his fellow Marines.

"You feel helpless," said Dial.  "Because it's like, OK, I'm safe.  But when do they get to feel safe?  When do they get to come home?"

Dial and his wife are only home for Christmas.  In January, the Bartlett High School graduate will return to Washington, D.C. for six months of rehabilitation.

Dial said he hopes to attend the University of Memphis so he can become a physical therapist and help others who are amputees.

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