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Injured Airman receives visit from the president

President George W. Bush visits with Airman Daniel Acosta and his wife, Sandy Jan. 1 at the Brooks Army Medical Center, Texas where he is being treated for injuries sustained while serving in Iraq. (Courtesy photo)

President George W. Bush visits with Airman Daniel Acosta and his wife, Sandy Jan. 1 at the Brooks Army Medical Center, Texas where he is being treated for injuries sustained while serving in Iraq. (Courtesy photo)

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah (AFMCNS) -- An Airman who was seriously injured in Iraq was recently honored with a visit from U.S. President George W. Bush.

While performing explosive ordnance disposal duties near Baghdad, Iraq, in early December, Senior Airman Daniel Acosta was caught in a blast that severely burned 18 percent of his body and caused him to lose his left arm at the shoulder. He is currently receiving treatment at Brooks Army Medical Center, Texas, where he was visited by President Bush.

“The visit was awesome,” Airman Acosta said. “He was a really nice guy. When he first came in we talked about my injuries and what happened. He gave me his presidential coin and I gave him an EOD coin. He thought that was pretty cool. He was really down to earth.”

Airman Acosta says that without the quick actions of his team chief, Staff Sgt. Joseph Upton, the situation may have had a more tragic conclusion.

“He performed all the medical care (right after the incident),” Airman Acosta said. “He put the tourniquet on my arm and stopped a lot of the bleeding. He, honestly, probably saved my life.”

Airman Acosta and his family are working towards healing. The one thing the Airman is sure of is that he would like the Air Force and his EOD work to continue to be a part of his future.

“I would love to stay in the Air Force and I am going to do everything I can to try and do that,” he said “I just love what I do. Explosive ordnance disposal is just part of my life.”

Airman Acosta was on his first assignment at Hill when he was deployed as part of the 447th Expeditionary Civil Engineering Squadron, Sather AB, Iraq. For his service Airman Acosta was awarded the Purple Heart medal by Brig. General Frank Gorenc, 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing commander, Balad AB, Iraq.