Triple amputee Bryan Anderson to share experiences at Healing Heroes Golf Week

charley@beaufortgazette.comApril 22, 2012 

Bungee jumping is Bryan Anderson's latest thrill.

The self-described adrenaline junkie can be found skydiving, snowboarding, rock climbing, wake boarding or white-water rafting.

He's been on the cover of "Esquire" magazine, in the New York Times and Los Angeles Times, and most recently on the front page of USA Today. He was featured in the HBO documentary, "Alive Day Memories: Home From Iraq." He recently was interviewed by "60 Minutes" for a story scheduled to air Memorial Day weekend.

A comic book has even been written about him.

This week, the 30-year-old will share his experiences as the Iraq war's fourth triple amputee at Healing Heroes Golf Week, which begins April 23.

His journey began Sept. 11, 2001, when the terrorist attacks prompted him to join the Army. In 2005, nine months into Anderson's second tour in Iraq as a specialist in the 411th Military Police Company, his Humvee hit an improvised explosive device in southeast Baghdad.

"It cut off my legs and my left hand off instantly," Anderson said. "It did not knock me out. I was awake for the whole thing. I had a conversation with my buddies about what is going to happen and how I felt."

Anderson will be among two dozen severely wounded veterans who will be in Beaufort County during the week for the golf tournament and other events. He will share his story of perseverance and healing during a banquet April 24 at Hampton Hall Clubhouse in Bluffton.

"I will talk about things I've done, and what I've learned since my injury. I have opened my eyes to see what is out there. There is so much out there, and there are so many things you can do, and there is no limit to it. Why would anybody put a limit on it?" said Anderson, author of "No Turning Back: One Man's Inspiring True Story of Courage, Determination, and Hope."

Anderson, who has not let his injuries get in the way, has acted in "CSI: NY" and "All My Children," as well as the movie "The Wrestler." He will be hosting a television show, "Reporting for Service with Bryan Anderson," featuring people giving back to their community. The show's pilot first aired in November on a public TV station in Chicago and was picked up for 13 episodes. It will air in 2013.

Anderson is a spokesperson for USA Cares, a nonprofit organization that helps post-Sept. 11 veterans, and is the national spokesman for Quantum Rehab, where he works to find better technology for prosthetics and wheelchairs for amputees.

"There has been lot of research and development," Anderson said. "They have got all-new technology in wheelchairs, and I get chances to try new things a lot and give my feedback."

As for his first bungee-jumping adventure?

"I am excited," he said.

Healing Heroes Golf Week events

Golf tournament: Registration begins at 10:30 a.m. daily with a captain's choice scramble at noon. Cost is $75 per golfer per round. Courses are Callawassie Island Club on April 23; Lady's Island Country Club on April 24; Sanctuary Golf Course (Cat Island) on April 26; and Fripp Island Ocean Point Links on April 27. Register at www.healingheroesgolfweek.com. Details: 843-379-8877, redetreville@sprintmail.com

Silent auction and banquet, featuring speakers Bryan Anderson, author of "No Turning Back: One Man's Inspiring True Story of Courage, Determination, and Hope," and Nancy Vineburgh, an assistant professor in the department of psychiatry at Uniformed Services University of Health Services: 6 p.m. April 24 at Hampton Hall Clubhouse in Bluffton. $60. Reservations required. 973-919-1362, 843-689-3685

Groundbreaking ceremony for Independence Chapel and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans Remembrance Wall: 5 p.m. April 25, Palm Key, 330 Coosaw Road, Ridgeland. The ceremony will be followed by a barbecue buffet, live entertainment by Nashville recording artist Barry Michael and a free screening of the film "Rebirth." Representatives from Canines for Veterans also will be at the event. Details: 843-726-6468, www.palmkey.com

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