U.S. ARMY’S KEN DWYER FACES LIFE – AND GOLF – HEAD ON
After losing a hand and an eye in Afghanistan, Dwyer had to re-learn golf
BY ALEX PODLOGAR
VILLAGE OF PINEHURST, N.C. – Aug. 19, 2006: The day everything changed for U.S. Army Capt. Ken Dwyer.
The Yakden Village in the Cahar Cinch region of the Uruzgan Province in Afghanistan. That’s where Dwyer was leading his team in a combined effort with the Afghan National Army (ANA) during combat operations in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Six years later, it is a place Google Maps still can’t find.
In a flash, Dwyer’s team was ambushed by what the U.S. military calls an “Anti-Coalition Militia” force, and with far superior numbers, the militia pinned the ANA and U.S. Forces in a U-shaped ambush.
What happened next, in the terse script of a military citation:
Dwyer moved his vehicle through small arms and rocket-propelled grenade fire to draw enemy fire and establish a support-by-fire position to provide relief for the pinned-down Soldiers. He then charged from his position to draw the attention of enemy fire to free the pinned-down forces. He continued to engage the enemy forces until friendly forces were again able to maneuver. Captain Dwyer returned to the position of the Operational Detachment 785 commander and assisted him in coordinating indirect fires. He then used various individual and vehicle-mounted weapons systems to fire into the enemy’s positions until he was critically injured by an air burst RPG.
On July 2, 2007, Dwyer was awarded the Silver Star for “conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action.”
He accepted the honor without his left hand and without his left eye.