There is rarely any warning, and this time it was no different.
Outside the Iraqi village of Zaganiyah on April 7, 2007, insurgents had buried three or four heavy artillery shells in the road, the trigger wire invisible to an approaching U.S. convoy. The lead Humvee in the convoy was carrying five paratroopers, and the blast threw their vehicle five car-lengths down the road where it crumpled upside down and in flames.
Four of the soldiers lay dead. The fifth, a staff sergeant named Bobby Henline, was alive, but just barely. A nearby soldier ran to beat out the flames that engulfed Henline's arms, legs and head, then knelt and scooped out Henline's broken teeth from his mouth so he could breathe.
To continue reading about the rest of Bobby's remarkable recovery and pursuit of his dreams, click here.
For previous installments of The Huffington Post's 10-part 'Beyond the Battlefield' series, click here.