Lieutenant Harp, Bionic Tester, Walter Reed, DC

Lieutenant Harp is the coolest guy we know, and though the circumstances are less than ideal, we’ve been fortunate to get to know him since GORUCK got involved with the Bionic project at West Point. Harp’s vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan on May 15, 2010 and he sustained major injuries to both legs. It was his last patrol on his last day in country.

Harp, an infantry officer and a ranger, was initially limp salvage until they amputated his right leg in December 2010, the whole process of which brought him to Walter Reed. Not knowing Harp prior, we didn’t know exactly what to expect, but probably someone at least a little bit down on his luck.

As it turns out, Harp is all smiles, as is everyone in the amputee ward. Harp’s line was that “there’s always someone twice as bad as you doing twice as well, so if you’re feeling sorry for yourself, I will berate and embarrass you until you feel better.”  The military is not a place for thin skin, and the amputee ward is no exception. One of Harp’s buddies in there proclaimed he was brought into the Army to head up female recruitment, and that it was going really, really well, to which Harp told his buddy he talked a big game considering he was the ugliest SOB he knew.  And everyone laughed, and it was nonstop like this all morning.  We got the sense it was like that every morning, all morning.

He’s already running on a prosthetic limb, which he loves.  His weak leg is the one he kept, albeit barely – and will require the most amount of rehab, thus delaying (but not preventing) his return to active duty.

After his run, Harp needed electro stimulation on his foot. Perturbed at the weak foot he still has, Harp said he preferred his paper cut (meaning his amputated leg).  I called him out on this, telling him everyone knew of his not-so-secret love of a daily, relaxing pedicure from his buddy.

Harp’s well on the mend, and his next stop after Walter Reed is Ranger Battalion and then back to Afghanistan with his buddies.  In the meantime (he says he’s no good at saying no) he happily offered to test out the Bionic foot at West Point (which will be our third post).  We’re glad he did, cause we just like spending time with the guy. We chatted on the best part of military life, which is getting to spend time with buddies who you would do anything for, and who would do anything for you.  Including pedicures if you need them.  Harp’s got charisma, smiles and loyalty to spare, and in a statement certain to make us lifelong friends, Harp – beers are always on us, and you’re not allowed to say no.


  1. Uri says:

    Speechless. I don’t know what else to say.
    As someone that went through a similar experience (IED) and came out of it alive with minimal injuries I can only express my respect and admiration for LT Harp. Thank you so much for your service and sacrifice.

  2. jason says:

    On a side note, I spoke to Harp today, he was waiting to meet President Obama before biking around DC with some fellow veterans. Harp said he looked forward to seeing the post “as long as it made him look very, very good.” Hopefully we did right by him.

  3. Kit says:

    Awesome post Jason. These posts show the true heart and soul of our military and the will to persevere. As always, proud to be an American.

  4. Frank says:

    I’ve grown fond of the GORUCK site since I first saw the packs featured on Uncrate. I’ll readily admit I refresh the news page far too much in hopes of reading more about Lt. Harp. I admire the tenacity and the good spirits all around. Look forward to the next write-up!

  5. Harvey says:

    Once again Goruck has gone above and beyond. Not a product but a livestyle to me. Changing lives and our whole outlook on life. As Kit said proud to be an American and proud to be a part of Goruck.

  6. John E. Bolog says:

    My wife an I had the pleasure of meeting with Harp while visiting DC this past March and April. This is one wonderful guy, but if he does not visit us in Vermont, his troubles have not even begun!!!

  7. Georgie says:

    Don’t know where Lt. Harp is coming from about being the ugliest SOB he knows. He’s a handsome hottie with a beautiful smile, brave and gutsy to boot. Hope he’s got a girlfriend/wife by now. I admire and honour his courage and tenacity. Cheers!

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