Once Marine Gunnery Sgt. Michael Burghardt realized he could wiggle his toes and fingers, he had one message for the insurgents who wounded him - defiance.He's back.
A month ago today, Dunlap had driven to Burghardt's aid after the Marine explosives expert wasn't able to disarm the last of three improvised explosive devices.Can't keep a good man down.
Two things amazed those who were there that day:
• Burghardt survived the explosion and would return to duty in less than a month.
• A World-Herald photograph showing Burghardt standing on his own two feet, pants cut off, legs bandaged and directing a single-digit salute of defiance at his attackers, has transformed him into one of the most famous Marines of the Iraq war.
The photo appeared on numerous Marine-related Internet weblogs. Burghardt received more than 100 e-mails within days of the picture's publication. It has become a screensaver on soldiers' and Marines' computers across Iraq.
"I don't know how my anger turned into a motivational picture," Burghardt said.