- June 15, 2015
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I graduated boot camp in July of 2004 and then SOI in September of 2004. I successfully completed the Recon Indoc while in SOI and was sent to the Recon Indoc Platoon upon graduation. I trained there until January of 2005 when I was sent to Amphibious Reconnaissance School. I graduated ARS in April of 2005. I served with 2nd Reconnaissance Battalion and completed multiple small scale training courses such as dragonfly operator, EMT Basic, OEMS, and SERE school. I deployed with my unit in March of 2006 as an Operator.
I was injured in Iraq on 06/06/2006 in an IED and received severe lower extremity trauma including avulsed Achilles tendon, shattered calcaneus, broken knee caps, and all the ligaments torn off the ankle, as well as a broken arm and elbow, broken nose, jaw, and lacerations to the face. I spent two weeks in a medically induced coma, because they thought my airway may close from the facial trauma. While in a coma I had many different difficulties to include pneumonia, a partially collapsed lung, and a constant fever of 104 or higher. My heart stopped three separate times and had I to be shocked with the defibrillator 3 times the first stoppage, once the second, and my heart started again on its own the third. After that they put a temporary pace maker in, which was removed before I came out of a coma. I spent about two and a half months in the hospital before being released. A month and a half in Bethesda, MD and a month at the Tampa VA, before I was sent home to continue my recovery. I spent about another 4 months strictly in a wheelchair, before I started learning how to walk again.
I had multiple surgeries to both feet including tendon repairs, bone restructures, and other residual corrections. I was told I wouldn't walk for a year after I came out of a coma, but after six months told my medical team I was doing it with or without their help. They brought me back to the Tampa VA where I began the painstaking task of learning how to walk again. It was slow going and took several months to be able to take steps without walking aides like crutches or canes. Over the next several years, I spent a majority of the time walking with the help of crutches and walking boots due to the constant surgery requirements. My last surgery was in 2009 and I have refused surgery since. I still lives with daily pain but consider myself very lucky, where many were not.
I have always been a hunter and fisherman. I loves being active, and doing things outdoors. I still get yelled at by my doctors for trying to do things I am not supposed to be able to do such as playing various sports. I truly love the outdoors and being with nature.