Daniel Luckett lost his leg and part of his foot on Mother’s Day, May 11, 2008, in northwest Baghdad. After ten months of recovery at Walter Reed Army Hospital, he returned to his unit in Fort Campbell, Kentucky. He found Matt Bulow through the Wounded Warrior Project and fellow soldier and amputee, Staff Sgt. Alexander Shaw. Luckett knew he needed new prostheses for the next deployment, and he knew he needed them quickly.
“I needed a quick turnaround. This was a big challenge and I needed them (the legs) to be sustainable while I was deployed for a year,” he said. He took a Renegade® MX foot, made by Freedom Innovations, a Ceterus® foot and a VSP® foot, both by Össur®. Luckett’s unit was on the ground in the region around Kandahar, Afghanistan, so he needed to have flexibility and agility in the field.
Both Matt Bulow, C.P. and Scott Moore, C.P., P.T.A, fit him with a new prosthetic leg. “The personal attention at Bulow OPS is phenomenal. They take as much time as they need. Instead of seeing you for an hour, they will devote an entire day to one patient and make sure they address your needs. Then, while it’s fresh in their minds, they turn out a product to specifically meet your needs and functionality.”
Luckett hopes he can inspire the members of his unit to keep achieving, no matter what. “I enjoy what I do, both professionally and personally. I have a vested interest in what’s going on over there. I can’t see it as ‘why would I go back?’ but ‘why wouldn’t I?’” Luckett said. He added that many of the soldiers he met while in the hospital felt the same way, but their injuries were just too severe to allow them to return. “For me, this is an obligation to those guys and to myself to go back.”
Update: Daniel Luckett was featured on National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered” on July 13, 2010. Listen to the story here.
“I’m lucky that my injury is not so severe as to limit my functionality so I can go back.” Not many would describe losing one leg below the knee and part of the other foot as a “not so severe” injury, but for Capt. Daniel Luckett, this was not enough to keep him from insisting on going with his unit back to active military duty. The unit headed to Afghanistan in the spring of 2010. Luckett took four new sockets and three different legs on this deployment, all custom-made at Bulow OPS.