This Marine Vet Is The First Recipient Of A Revolutionary Prosthetic Hand

news
A screenshot from YouTube showing Marine veteran James Sides using a revolutionary prosthetic hand.

On July 15, 2012, Marine Staff Sgt. James Sides’ life was dramatically changed when he was badly injured during his second tour to Afghanistan. Sides served as an explosive ordnance disposal technician and was attempting to disarm an improvised explosive device when it detonated underneath him.


The blast cost him part of his right arm below the elbow and loss of sight in his left eye, according to a 2013 Marine Corps Times article.

In June 2013, just a year after he was injured, Sides’ life changed again when he became the first person to receive an experimental prosthetic hand during an operation at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

Called the implantable myoelectric sensor, or IMES for short, the system uses tiny sensors the size of rice grains to communicate with the muscle in Sides’ upper arm. The prosthetic was designed by the Alfred Mann Foundation, a research organization that approached Sides while he was at Walter Reed and offered him the opportunity to receive the new system.

The sensors read the muscle movement in Sides’ upper arm, and bypassing his mind, relay that information to a decoder box worn on the hip. The box relays the signal to the prosthetic hand, which responds and moves, according to a Jan 2014 article by Popular Science.

With the IMES technology, Sides can now can open and close his new hand, laterally rotate the thumb, and rotate it at the wrist. The range of movement provided by the prosthetic allows him to unscrew the tops of bottles, maintain a hold of items, and even give a firm handshake.

"When I go to shake someone's hand it's got sensors in there to stop when it feels resistance," said Sides in an interview with ABC 7 Denver.

The range of motion provided by the prosthetic means that daily chores and routines are no longer a struggle, said Sides, who added, "I didn’t think this technology would come out in my lifetime.”

Watch the YouTube video of Sides’ prosthetic hand in action:

Soldiers from the 1-118th Field Artillery Regiment of the 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team fire an M777 Howitzer during a fire mission in Southern Afghanistan, June 10th, 2019. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Jordan Trent)

Once again, the United States and the Taliban are apparently close to striking a peace deal. Such a peace agreement has been rumored to be in the works longer than the latest "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure" sequel. (The difference is Keanu Reeves has fewer f**ks to give than U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad.)

Both sides appeared to be close to reaching an agreement in September until the Taliban took credit for an attack that killed Army Sgt. 1st Class Elis A. Barreto Ortiz, of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division. That prompted President Donald Trump to angrily cancel a planned summit with the Taliban that had been scheduled to take place at Camp David, Maryland, on Sept. 8.

Now Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen has told a Pakistani newspaper that he is "optimistic" that the Taliban could reach an agreement with U.S. negotiators by the end of January.

Read More
Audie Murphy (U.S. Army photo)

Editor's note: a version of this post first appeared in 2018

On January 26, 1945, the most decorated U.S. service member of World War II earned his legacy in a fiery fashion.

Read More
A Purple Heart (DoD photo)

Florida's two senators are pushing the Defense Department to award Purple Hearts to the U.S. service members wounded in the December shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola.

Read More
Ships from Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 23 transit the Pacific Ocean Jan. 22, 2020. DESRON 23, part of the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group, is on a scheduled deployment to the Indo-Pacific. (U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Erick A. Parsons)

Editor's Note: This article by Gina Harkins originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

The Navy and Marine Corps need to be a bit more short-sighted when assessing how many ships they need, the acting Navy secretary said this week.

The Navy Department is in the middle of a new force-structure review, which could change the number and types of ships the sea services say they'll need to fight future conflicts. But instead of trying to project what they will need three decades out, which has been the case in past assessments, acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly said the services will take a shorter view.

"I don't know what the threat's going to be 30 years from now, but if we're building a force structure for 30 years from now, I would suggest we're probably not building the right one," he said Friday at a National Defense Industrial Association event.

The Navy completed its last force-structure assessment in 2016. That 30-year plan called for a 355-ship fleet.

Read More
Master-at-Arms 3rd Class Oscar Temores and his family. (GoFundMe)

When Oscar Jesus Temores showed up to work at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story each day, his colleagues in base security knew they were in for a treat.

Temores was a master-at-arms who loved his job and cracking corny jokes.

"He just he just had that personality that you can go up to him and talk to him about anything. It was goofy and weird, and he always had jokes," said Petty Officer 3rd Class Derek Lopez, a fellow base patrolman. "Sometimes he'd make you cry from laughter and other times you'd just want to cringe because of how dumb his joke was. But that's what made him more approachable and easy to be around."

That ability to make others laugh and put people at ease is just one of the ways Temores is remembered by his colleagues. It has been seven weeks since the 23-year-old married father of one was killed when a civilian intruder crashed his pickup truck into Temores' vehicle at Fort Story.

Read More