Staff Sergeant Josh Olson, 25, lost his leg right up to the hip bone when his convoy was attacked with a rocket- propelled grenade in northern Iraq. When Bush presented him with a Purple Heart in hospital in December 2003, Olson was certain that he was on the fast track to a discharge.
A fortnight ago he heard that he had been declared fit for combat. “It’s made me feel great,” he said. “Everything I’ve worked for is paying off.” A talented sharp-shooter, he will join the army marksmanship team and train national guardsmen. Olson can walk without a cane or crutches, but has yet to be fitted with a running leg.