New Orleans Photojournalist and Editorial Photographer Edmund D. Fountain - The Wounded Among Us
Cpl. Peter Bagarella, 29, joined the Marine Corps on July 9, 2001, and was deployed to Haditha and Fallujah, Iraq, in 2004. On Aug. 12, 2004, he was injured by an IED and lost his left leg below the knee. He had lens transplant surgeries to restore his sight.
‘I'm glad it happened, to be honest with you. I wish my eyes weren't messed up, but missing a leg isn't as bad as people think. When you are at Walter Reed you see a lot more people that are messed up. They can be double amputees or triple or even quad amputees. So just missing one limb is a blessing, and to be able to live a normal life is a blessing to me.
"I sat in a bar every night drinking, every night thinking it would solve my problems. I woke up with the same problems every day, with a hangover. When I started going to church, God completely changed my life.
"I always thought I could go to church and keep drinking, but it's kind of like a conflict of interest. I woke up the morning of the Super Bowl hungover and I felt like God said, 'If you want to have a relationship with me and you want me to take care of you, then you can't drink anymore.'
"How many people do you know will say they are happy that they lost a limb in Iraq? Not many."