Land mines and war machines have not only scarred Afghanistan but have left many children, women and men with debilitating leg and feet injuries.
Without care, the victims pick up and fasten tree limbs to their legs or hop around to continue their daily survival.
A Carson Country prosthetics maker says he hopes a few extra plastic knee fittings and leg parts will make all the difference in the world to those who have suffered injuries in Afghanistan.
Hanger Prosthetics and Orthotics, with offices in Carson City and Reno, recently shipped off boxes full of plastic leg parts to the war-ridden country as part of a national effort by the corporation that owns it.
A team of four of the nation's leading practitioners will be sent by the national headquarters of Hanger Inc. to Afghanistan on Friday on a humanitarian relief mission at the request of the Afghan government.
Many details of the mission remain secret because it is considered an extremely risky operation, said Jay Murray, who runs Hanger in Carson City and Reno.
Murray said many of the parts that will be fitted on Afghan people have been donated, although some may be custom-made if possible. Each fitting normally costs from $4,000 to $45,000, depending on where the amputation occurred.
Because of the lack of follow-up care available to the Afghan patients, many of the prosthetics will be retrofitted and easy to fix if needed. Even so, a properly constructed leg or foot will help give many of the victims enough comfort and mobility to help them live easier lives, he said.
"It's such a great thing to be able to give back to people's lives," Murray said. "People can do anything they want to if you give them the opportunity."
Murray said he hopes the mission to Afghanistan will open some people's eyes to the reality that the country is made up of many good people who have also been affected by war.
One way the company will provide this inside look is through the corporate Web site at www.hanger.com.
Team members will create a daily journal with pictures to describe their work and experiences.
The Web site journal is specifically for students but can be viewed by anyone interested in learning about the mission.
"The Web site will help people see every day life there," Murray said.