U.S. Marine veteran Octavio Sanchez, who grew up in Fontana, lost his right hand to a road-side bomb explosion in Iraq in 2005.
He also lost most of the use of his left hand and suffered burns over 69 percent of his body. It took him two years to recover. Two members of his unit were killed in the ambush.
On May 30, Sanchez, 41, was an honored speaker at a Memorial Day ceremony at Green Acres Memorial Park in Bloomington.
He used the artificial hand that replaced his right hand to hold the American flag that he was presented by American Legion Commander Howard Eckert, who called Sanchez a “patriot.”
Many local veterans were among the attendees at the annual event held at the cemetery.