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Sergeant Bill Dunham: Special Forces, "Operation Just Cause" in Panama

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Sergeant Bill Dunham: Special Forces, "Operation Just Cause" in Panama

42-year-old retired Sergeant Bill Dunham of the U.S. Army's 75th Ranger Regiment lost his leg to machine gun fire during the invasion of Panama known as Operation "Just Cause," December 20, 1989.

Dunham was airlifted to Willford Hall Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas. Over the next three years, Dunham underwent 21 surgeries. Initial attempts were made to save his leg, but ultimately it had to be amputated above the knee. During his recovery, Dunham received visits from Ross Perot and President George H. W. Bush, who presented him with his combat jump wings. He went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts in History and Master of Science in Defense and Strategic Studies. He held intelligence and security management positions with the Pentagon and a major U.S. corporation.

Currently, Dunham is an employee of Hanger in Oklahoma where he receives his prosthetic care and serves as a regional Amputee Empowerment Partners (AEP) coordinator, providing peer-to-peer support visits with people who are facing an amputation or have undergone an amputation.

He had the opportunity to meet Winter shortly after Hanger starting working with her. He was able to watch Winter swim with her prosthetic tail and thrive despite the loss of her tail. Bill loves to hear the many stories of those with limb loss who have been inspired by Winter and have realized they can overcome their challenges as well

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