When Marine Lance Cpl. David Battle learned he'd either have to sacrifice his ring finger or the wedding band he wore, he told doctors at a field hospital in Iraq to cut off the...

Share story


VICTORVILLE, Calif. — When Marine Lance Cpl. David Battle learned he’d either have to sacrifice his ring finger or the wedding band he wore, he told doctors at a field hospital in Iraq to cut off the finger.


The 19-year-old former high-school football star suffered a mangled left hand and serious wounds to his legs in a Nov. 13 firefight in Fallujah, Iraq. Battle, who is recovering at his parents’ home in Victorville, 80 miles northeast of Los Angeles, came under attack as he and fellow Marines entered a building. Eleven other Marines were wounded.


Doctors were preparing to cut off Battle’s ring to save as much of his finger as they could.


“But that would mean destroying my wedding ring,” he said. “My wife is the strongest woman I know. She’s basically running two people’s lives since I’ve been gone.”


With his approval, doctors severed his finger, but in the chaos that followed, they lost his ring.


Although Battle was disappointed, his wife, Devon, said she was honored. “I can’t believe he did that,” she said.


Kuwaitis deny plotting to attack U.S.-led forces




KUWAIT — A group of 20 Kuwaiti men denied charges of plotting to attack U.S.-led forces in Iraq and Kuwait at a court hearing yesterday, judicial sources said.


The 20 accused and two juveniles who were not in court were charged by Kuwait’s public prosecutor of training with and possessing illegal weapons, the sources said. The group was arrested earlier this year and had been accused of links to Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida terrorist network, but those charges were dropped.


The court adjourned until Jan. 2 to allow defense lawyers time to prepare their case.


Power-plant fire causes electricity loss


BAGHDAD — A large swath of Iraq lost electricity yesterday after a fire began in the Beiji power plant north of Baghdad. Prime Minister Ayad Allawi called the fire an accident.


The capital went dark at about 4 p.m. The only lights came from the Green Zone and other places that have their own generators.