Joshua Pitcher

What magnificent men and women we have serving this Republic:

Army 1st Lt. Joshua Pitcher, a paratrooper assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division’s 4th Brigade Combat Team, was conducting a routine combat patrol in southern Afghanistan last year when he was injured by an improvised explosive device that took his right leg.

Following his injury, instead of feeling sorry for himself and basking in grief, Pitcher focused on returning to his unit and being with his troopers.

“I wasn’t going to just up and quit because I lost a limb,” he said.

“I wanted to get better and come back to be the best paratrooper that I can be,” added Pitcher, a former paratrooper and combat veteran.

Pitcher underwent 13 months of intense rehabilitation at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center before rejoining the 4th Brigade Combat Team four months ago. He now serves as a platoon leader in 2nd Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment.

While he was at Walter Reed, the Rineyville, Ky., native said, the other troopers there gave him the motivation to move forward and continue to serve.

“Many of those guys were more severely injured than I was, and I know that they would do anything to get back with their units,” Pitcher said. “I was blessed with the opportunity to come back here and show everyone else that I can do exactly what they can.”