Army recruit’s leg amputated in basic training, family says it was due to Army’s negligence

A young Army recruit from California is missing a leg, thanks to a rare, flesh-eating disease that he contracted while attending Basic Training.

14 surgeries in, 21-year-old Dez Del Barba was around six weeks into his Army Basic Training at Fort Benning, Georgia, when he contracted necrotizing fasciitis, a flesh-eating bacterial infection that is known to be deadly.

Initially, testing came back with negative results, but a positive result was looked at for a full 24 hours before Del Barba was notified and treated, which resulted in the amputation of a leg.

“It’s the most heartbreaking feeling a parent can feel,” Dez Del Barba’s father, Mark Del Barba, told CBS Local. My son’s life has been forever altered and his future as a Soldier for the United States Army has been destroyed by pure negligence.”

However, the US Army and Fort Benning officials weren’t so quick to take the blame.

“The safety and care of our soldiers and personnel at Fort Benning is our utmost concern,” a Fort Benning statement read. “Sometimes the environment or high-risk training results in illness, injury, or sadly, even death.”

Del Barba has been issued a prosthetic, and will likely receive disability benefits. His Basic Training class graduates on Friday.

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