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Tragic Trip to Iraq Changes Reporter's Life

On December 10, 2003, TIME reporter Michael Weisskopf was riding with an Army convoy through the streets of Iraq's Al-Adhamiya when he noticed a small grenade had been thrown into the Humvee. He quickly took hold of the missile to throw it out of the vehicle, but it exploded before he could fully release it. He saved a number of lives that day, but he lost his right hand—his writing hand.

In the months that have passed since the tragic incident, Weisskopf has had plenty of time to reflect on a number of questions: Why was I in Iraq, in imminent danger and so far away from loved ones? What has the whole mess taught me? In his book Blood Brothers, he offers some of his conclusions. He admits to being in Iraq for "a fix." It was a unique opportunity for yet another milestone in his journalistic career, and the idea of it set his heart racing. Though he knew he should find peace in simply being a husband and a father, he wanted more. Since the incident, however, he finds such achievements pale in comparison to simply being there for those who love and need him most. He would probably argue that though he lost a hand, he gained a new perspective on life.

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