Framework

Capturing the world through photography, video and multimedia

Pfc. Stephen Priest, 19, eases out of a Naval Medical Center bus to start a day on the town. As a paratrooper with the Army, he lost both legs in an explosion in Afghanistan in May.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times

Marine Lance Cpl. Christopher Van Etten, 21, heaves a bowling ball down the lane at the East Village Tavern & Bowl.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times

Justen Gentry, 21, who serves in the Navy, prepares to bowl.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times

Scars from a recent operation show on a Marine's leg as he and a fellow service member wait for the San Diego Trolley. They both lost legs in Afghanistan.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times

Marine Cpl. Michael Fox wheels Sgt. Milan Franklin across train tracks downtown as recreational therapist Marla Knox keeps an eye on the group.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times

Some on prosthetic legs, others in wheelchairs, the group of combat veterans go up Broadway.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times

Children take note of service members walking off the ferry at the B Street Pier.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times

La Jolla residents Kris and Jim McMillan, left, talk with Marine Cpl. Michael Fox, far right, as they ride the Coronado Ferry.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times

Fox, 27, climbs stairs on the ferry. An explosion in Afghanistan took his legs, but he tells children that he lost the limbs to a pack of marauding Chihuahua dogs.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times

Members of the group wheel across a gangplank at the ferry.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times

Gentry, left, and Marine Cpl. Brad Ivanchan, 23, lead the way along the Coronado pier.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times

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Injured combat veterans take a field trip in San Diego

Getting accustomed to being around civilians can be one of the most difficult challenges for veterans injured in war. So each month, therapists at Naval Medical Center San Diego gather a group — sometimes amputees, sometimes patients with other injuries, including post-traumatic stress disorder — for a trip to crowded, busy public places to let the patients see and be seen by the outside world.

The goal of the excursions is to help those who have been hurt grievously in war prepare for a society in which the vast majority of people they will meet have not served in the military and may have little knowledge about or concern for those who have.

On this day, a dozen soldiers, sailors and Marines take a daylong field trip away from the hospital — to a bowling alley.

Read the full story.

2 Comments

  1. March 25, 2013, 10:25 pm

    Hmm, this is really a inspirational field trip I think. Therapists at Naval Medical Center San Diego haa been doing really sound job by this field trip. Thanks dude.

  2. April 18, 2013, 6:55 am

    Without any doubt that field trip of combat veterans will play a inspirational role to everyone. I appreciate Therapists at Naval Medical Center San Diego for arranged that field trip and I hope they will try to make such kind of field trip in future also. Thanks

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