Seven years after a roadside bomb claimed his legs and left arm, former Army Sgt. Bryan Anderson says his message for other severely wounded veterans remains the same: Take control of your life.
Anderson, 30, an Iraq war veteran, was the keynote speaker Tuesday night at a banquet at the Hampton Hall clubhouse in Bluffton for the inaugural Healing Heroes Golf Week.
Organized by the Beaufort-based Independence Fund, the event helped nearly two dozen severely wounded veterans from across the country travel to the Lowcountry this week to play golf at several local courses and attend the banquet and other functions.
Anderson said he hoped his appearance and remarks inspire fellow injured veterans and others.
"I hope they see that just because something bad happens to you, that doesn't mean you have to live your life in sorrow," he said. "It's all about your attitude and how you perceive things."
Anderson became the Iraq War's fourth triple amputee in 2005 after a roadside bomb attack in southeast Baghdad as he served his second tour of duty as a military police officer.
Having appeared on the cover of "Esquire" magazine, in episodes of "CSI: NY," and the film "The Wrestler," Anderson said he is proof there is life after being wounded in combat.
"I want (other veterans) to see me doing these things and how people respond to it," he said. "People won't look at you funny or look down on you. You have to take control of your life and do the things that you want to do. Don't be afraid."
The golf outing continues Thursday with rounds at Sanctuary Golf Course on Cat Island and Friday at Fripp Island Ocean Point Links, according to organizers.
Robert de Treville, who helped organized the event, said the experience has been worth every minute of the three months he and others spent planning it.
"To see these guys just be able to get out there and swing a club has been incredible," de Treville said. "I really feel like America is forgetting the vet and we can't to that. We can never forget these veterans, what they've done for us and done for our country."