9-11 spurred Hero

Charmain Z. Brackett

Correspondent

When he watched the televised reports of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Spc. Jacob Dutro wanted to do something.

"I wanted to join the Army after high school after 9/11, but my parents talked me out of it," he said.

A few dead-end jobs later, Dutro decided to act on that instinct to defend his country, and in April 2004, he signed up for the Army.

"I liked the structure of it," he said.

He became a mechanic and has been deployed twice since enlisting; the first deployment was from September 2005 to September 2006, and he deployed again in September 2007.

"In Iraq, I worked on whatever needed to be done," he said.

A member of the 101st Airborne Division, Dutro was working on a vehicle when some shots were accidentally fired from a Bradley fighting vehicle inside the motor pool. The rounds ricocheted causing shrapnel from the beams it hit to fly across the motor pool.

Dutro was hit by some of the shrapnel in his leg tearing off his knee cap.

A patient at the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center's active duty unit, Dutro expects to regain his movement in his leg and hopes to be out of the hospital by March or April.

What happens after that remains to be seen, he said.

"I don't know if I'll be able to go back to active duty," he said. "I'd like to finish up my contract. I have about three years left."

He said he'd like to go to college and one day open a business of his own.

Page last updated Mon February 11th, 2008 at 16:10