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Polish man found in mountains is Iraq war veteran

Associated Press

WARSAW, Poland (AP) – A man found with severe frostbite in subzero temperatures in the southern Polish mountains was being taken to a military hospital on Friday after his family identified him as a veteran of the Iraq war.

A picture of the bearded man lying on a hospital bed featured prominently in Polish media after foresters stumbled across him last week in an unheated shed in the Tatra Mountains. He was taken to the local hospital in Zakopane.

Despite suffering severe frostbite to his feet and being unable to speak properly, doctors said there was no danger to his life.

He did not respond to questions about who he was or why he was in the mountains, and was identified almost a week later after his mother and sister saw his image in the media.

They had last seen him in June, when he said he was leaving for a foreign mission.

Defense Ministry spokesman Jacek Sonta said Friday the man is 36-year-old Wlodzimierz N., a veteran from a UN mission to Lebanon in 2000 and from the Iraq war in 2003 and 2004, who was discharged from the military in 2006 for unspecified health reasons.

The man was to be brought for treatment to the military hospital in Szaserow street, in Warsaw, later Friday, hospital spokesman Lt. Col. Piotr Dabrowiecki told The Associated Press.

He will be treated for frostbite but will also be put under psychological and psychiatric monitoring, Dabrowiecki said.

Some 300 soldiers and other persons back from foreign military mission have been treated in the hospital’s stress and post-combat clinic since it was established in 2007.

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