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Gilbert Resident, Iraq War Hero Wins Patient of Courage Award

Honored at American Society of Plastic Surgeons Annual Meeting

Chicago, Oct. 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Sgt. Robert Bartlett, a Gilbert, Ariz. resident, Iraq War hero and motivational speaker and mentor for wounded veterans, will be the proud recipient of the 2008 Patients of Courage: Triumph Over Adversity Award, at the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) Plastic Surgery 2008 conference, Saturday, November 1, in Chicago.

The Patients of Courage: Triumph Over Adversity program honors reconstructive plastic surgery patients, nominated by their ASPS Member Surgeons, whose lives were restored through reconstructive plastic surgery and whose charitable actions influence and benefit the lives around them. The award is supported by Ethicon, Inc., a Johnson & Johnson company.

"Robert Bartlett is simply an inspiration," said Eduardo Rodriguez, MD, ASPS Member Surgeon. "He proudly served his country, nearly died and endured severe facial trauma. Despite these wounds, he has persevered."

Bartlett, a Calvary Scout Sniper in the 3rd ID 164 Armor who was injured by an Improvised Explosive Devise (IED) from a grenade launcher, which instantly killed his commander in the front seat of the HumVee, amputated the legs of the rear passenger and nearly amputated Bartlett's face. He required plastic surgery to reconstruct major portions of his face, specifically his lower lip, jaw, midface and eye.

After many operations, Bartlett regained his ability to communicate. Additionally, he found new confidence and courage to use his experience to inspire others. He gives motivational speeches to wounded soldiers and has addressed the national conference of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Working with different non-profits groups like the Aledthia Foundation, Project Healing Waters and, Bartlett raises money and provides social outlets for wounded veterans.

"I don't feel like I'm doing anything special," said Robert Bartlett, award recipient. "I was a soldier doing my job, like anyone else would have, to the best of my ability, I just got hurt doing it. Now I can use my experience to help those who find themselves in a similar situation to let them know they will be okay and their service is truly appreciated."

More than 5.1 reconstructive plastic surgery procedures were performed in 2007, according to ASPS.

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons is the largest organization of board-certified plastic surgeons in the world. Representing more than 6,700 physician members, the Society is recognized as a leading authority and information source on cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery. ASPS comprises more than 94 percent of all board-certified plastic surgeons in the United States. Founded in 1931, the Society represents physicians certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery or The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

SOURCE American Society of Plastic Surgeons
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