He graduated from the school for NCOs, and started his military service in the 2nd Masovian Sapper Brigade in Kazuń. In 2006, he went for his first mission to Afghanistan. He spent six months in Bagram Air Base. He came back, got married, had a son, and left again. He thought: “I will go again, the first rotation was ok.”
On August 30, 2010, Master Corporal Polusik was driving the MRAP vehicle. He knew he had to drive fast not to become a target. The attack came unexpectedly when they were trying to get their vehicle out of a mine crater and stopped just for a moment. “The first axle was already on the road, and the back one was still in the crater. That’s when we became an easy target,” he recalls. Their MRAP was hit by a shell launched from the shoulder-launched RPG7 anti-tank grenade launcher. The hit crushed Krzysztof’s knee, and the lower part of his leg was hanging on torn skin and muscles. Fifteen minutes later Krzysztof was in the US MEDEVAC. He went through five operations, and during the last one in Ramstein Air Base his leg was amputated. He agreed to that when the American doctors showed him their soldiers who lost both legs, but they could live normally with their artificial ones.
Krzysztof was on a sick-leave for two years, the whole time of his rehabilitation training. He got a modern artificial leg, which automatically adjusts to his body movements and the terrain he walks on. He came out fine because of support from his family and friends. He completed his licentiate’s degree in national security at the National Defense Academy. He rides a bike, competes in bike marathons, goes hiking in the mountains. His artificial leg helps him to live his normal life, which is important when you have two kids. “What I miss the most is running. Before, I used to like my morning jogs before going to work. I had my record: 10 minutes and 30 seconds at the distance of three kilometers. I was always good in my gym class,” he says. Today, he serves as a junior NCO (“capable for military service, with limitations”) in the Operational Command of the Branches of the Armed Forces.
Since he started to prepare for the Invictus Games at the beginning of 2018, he has not been smoking. “My health condition has improved, my head works better, and my colleagues say I look better, too,” he says. Initially, he wanted to do only swimming and sitting volleyball, but as it turned out, he likes the indoor rowing best. “I train with my artificial leg on. Trainings are hard, because this sport requires strength. I am tired, but satisfied. I see my competition in the Games as a test,” he confesses.
Health impairment: 85%
Missions: Operation Enduring Freedom 9th rotation, PMC Afghanistan 7th rotation
Discipline: swimming, sitting volleyball, indoor rowing
autor zdjęć: Michał Niwicz