Triple Amputee Veteran Victim Of Burglary

A triple amputee veteran was the victim of a burglary which may have cost him more then a few valuables. Having the device that controls his prosthetic hand taken, it may have cost him some dignity.

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Ben Eberle, 27, had an iPod Touch with the app i-limb, which was specifically used to control his prosthetic hand. The loss of the device will mean the veteran will need to replace both the iPod and the hand.

Eberle was a bomb specialist in Afghanistan’s Tangi Valley when he spied a suspicious blue wire and took one more drag off his cigarette. When the enemy found him, he ran, but not before the IED exploded. The only reason he hadn’t lost most of his face was because he’d shielded it with his right hand, which along with both legs, had been lost. His then seven months pregnant wife Ashley is glad he hadn’t lost more than that.

Much like double amputee model Aimee Mullins, Ben didn’t take his loss lying down. Mullins had taken the initiative to prove to the world that losing your limbs doesn’t take away from your beauty. Ben Eberle went on and had a prosthetic hand programmed to do what he no longer could on his own due to extensive nerve damage.

Triple amputee veteran Eberle came back and kept going.

Unfortunately Eberle had left his iPod Touch on the center console of his pickup truck in San Antonio overnight when a thief smashed the window and grabbed it. The veteran told the press that replacing and reprogramming the prosthetic hand would be time consuming:

“That takes a long time. It’s tedious and it’s a lot of work with the hand itself.”

It seems that Eberle isn’t concerned so much with the cost as he is with how long it will take to replace what the thief swiped from him on Friday, and the disrespect shown by the incident. It certainly made him angry to discover the theft, which the burglars apparently put some effort into. There was evidence of what appeared to be someone trying to pick the lock with a screwdriver, but it was the smashing of the window which had alerted the triple amputee veteran.

Ben Eberle explained that when he knew it was happening he wanted to run out, but all he could do was fetch his wheelchair to investigate and confirm it.

The contents of the truck had been rummaged through, but the most important had been lost. Triple amputee veteran Staff Sgt. Ben Eberle hopes that whoever took the iPod Touch realizes the weight of their crime and decides to show some respect for a man who defended his country in several overseas nations.

[image via Ottobock]