USA Hockey Magazine

November 2015

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17 USAHOCKEYMAGAZINE.COM NOVEMBER. 2015 firefights with the Taliban. All was unusually quiet as the afternoon wore on toward sunset. Heading toward a safer place where they would spend the night, Reichenbach was walking third in line. A point man and inter- preter in front of him apparently stepped on a 20-pound IED buried in a field but their body weights were too light to set it off. Reichenbach wasn't so fortunate. The explosion laid waste to his left leg and severe- ly injured his other leg and left arm. Another SEAL was severely injured by shrapnel. Both were bleeding profusely and there was con- cern they might not make it. "I remember where I was the moment I got the call. I was on the roof of a client's house in Billings repairing hail damage," Don Reichenbach recalls. "It was 10:30 in the morning. I could read that the incoming call was a SATphone so I thought it was Bo. We had just spoken a few days earlier. I answered, 'Hey buddy, what's going on?" When Reichenbach heard the grave voice of Bo's commanding officer Mike Hayes, he froze in near paralysis. "I knew right away something was wrong and immediately I flashed to the possibility that maybe I was getting the call every par- ent with a child in the military dreads most." "Bo has been seriously injured, but he is alive," Hayes said. "He was blown up on a mission. He lost one of his legs and we are trying to save the other but our greatest priority now is keeping him alive." After informing Reichenbach that Bo had been medevaced to a hospital, Hayes added something that made both men laugh and cry at the same time. "I have to tell you that, amazingly, Bo was pretty calm and collected as he was being prepared for the airlift," Hayes said. "Ever practical, he grabbed my arm and said, 'You need to call my Dad. Write down his number and remember that to reach Montana you have to use the 406 area code. Tell my Dad what happened. He'll know what to do.'" Five days later, Don and Crystal were waiting in Bethesda, Md., when Bo arrived back on U.S. soil. They accompanied him to Walter Reed Medical Center where he began his long and painful journey through rehabili- tation that would involve nearly 30 surgeries. Along the way, Bo lost his other leg above the knee leaving him a double amputee. "I remember sitting in bed and watching an old hockey game on video thinking, "I miss my legs but one of the worst parts is I'll never be able to play hockey again. I'll never be able to teach the game to my son as my Dad did for me,'" Bo recalls. "It was tough for me to accept because hockey was something I always figured would be in my life and being a SEAL you "I REMEMBER SITTING IN BED AND WATCHING AN OLD HOCKEY GAME ON VIDEO THINKING, 'I MISS MY LEGS BUT ONE OF THE WORST PARTS IS I'LL NEVER BE ABLE TO PLAY HOCKEY AGAIN.'"

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