After suffering debilitating injuries in combat, wounded warriors are still a source of inspiration for others, telling their stories about struggle, resilience, and overcoming. The achievements of these men and women will be honored this Veterans Day.
Through the Wounded Warrior Project, severely injured service members are building a community that helps to honor and empower America’s injured veterans. The 2012 Wounded Warrior Experience is an event that will feature a number of wounded warriors who will share their stories with each other and the public. The event is hosted by Fox News’ Jennifer Griffin and will be aired on The Pentagon Channel this Veterans Day.
Sergeant Richard Yarosh will share his remarkable story about life as a wounded warrior. As a U.S. Army Cavalry Scout, Yarosh was injured near the Abu Ghraib region of Iraq. Yarosh suffered burns to over 60 percent of his body when his Bradley Fighting Vehicle struck a roadside bomb. Only by rolling into a nearby canal was Yarosh able to finally extinguish the flames that had consumed him. His fellow servicemen rushed to his side and helped save his life.
Sergeant Yarosh describes his life as a wounded warrior as challenging, but manageable by making a few changes when necessary. He relies on assistance from his service dog Amos, who picks up things that he occasionally drops. The Sergeant now enjoys giving motivational speeches to other wounded warriors, and considers himself both lucky and blessed. Although he lost both of his hands and one of his legs, Sergeant Yarosh says that he would not change a single thing. “I miss my hands, but the things that I have gained are quite unbelievable.”
Sergeant Robert Jones will also share his amazing story. Despite losing his legs in an IED explosion in Afghanistan, the Sergeant now lives an active and accomplished life. Last summer, Sergeant Jones competed as a Paralympic rower in London. Jones describes life in the Paralympic Village as very similar to life in the military. It’s a good way for paraplegics to meet people who are facing challenges similar to their own. About one in 10 athletes on the Paralympic team this year was a veteran. Sergeant Jones met one rower from Great Britain who was in the same situation that he is, but Sergeant Jones will quickly point out that he “beat him.” Jones has plans to become the first above-knee amputee to ride an upright cycle across the country.
These wounded warriors have demonstrated a seemingly endless amount of strength and courage. By first enlisting in the defense of their country, and then by persevering through debilitating injuries, these brave men and women have become great sources of inspiration for their fellow countrymen. Those who tune in for the 2012 Wounded Warrior Experience will hear similar stories from many more wounded warriors. Readers can help support Wounded Warriors by clicking here. Also, other ways to support veterans can be found here.