Army Major Ed “Flip” Klein is an outdoorsman. Born in Arkansas, the 35-year-old always found a calming presence in nature, but when he was severely injured during a 2012 deployment to Afghanistan, he wasn’t sure he’d ever find that calm again.

In October 2012, Klein was a company commander in his seventh month of a nine-month deployment and out on patrol with one of his platoons. The troops split in two, and were walking through a compound with a mine detection K-9 and  officer, who crossed over an improvised explosive device (IED) before Klein unknowingly stepped on it with his left foot and it detonated.

A medivac was called and an emergency plan that Klein had helped craft weeks earlier saw him taken from the point of his injury to a helicopter, and transported to the Kandahar Regional Military Hospital inside the so-called “golden hour.” The golden hour refers to the time period lasting for one hour or less following a traumatic injury in which there is the highest likelihood that prompt medical treatment will prevent death.

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