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I want each of you to know why I am riding, solo on my motorcycle, 10,000 miles to raise donations for our most seriously wounded veterans.  Please read so you can understand just how important your support is…

In a previous post I told you what an honor it was to meet , in Union County, Ohio, with  Dale Bartow, Executive Director, Veterans Service Commission and Office,   Bill Howard and  Ken Bonnell, Chairman, Union County Military Family Support Group. These men along with Homes For Our Troops, have come together to build a specially adapted home for Staff Sergeant Jason Gibson. 

On May 30, 2012, while assigned to a dismounted patrol on a route clearance mission for the Infantry in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, Army Staff Sergeant Jason Gibson stepped on a hidden improvised explosive device (IED). The blast resulted in catastrophic injuries to both legs, a deep wound in the right forearm and the amputation of the tip of his left index finger. SSG Gibson has no memory of the nearly fatal explosion that day, which occurred some three months into his third deployment.

Following his medical evacuation from the battlefield to Kandahar Airfield Hospital, and then transported to Bagram Air Force Base, Jason would also be treated in Landstuhl, Germany. There, doctors worked feverishly to save his right leg, but he was becoming septic and had lost profound tissue from his thigh, requiring doctors to amputate the right leg as well (called a bilateral hip disarticulation.) This rare form of amputation accounts for about 2 percent of the country’s amputee population; so far in their journey, SSG Gibson and his wife Kara have only heard of four other soldiers with this level of amputation.

Weeks later, SSG Gibson was moved to Walter Reed where he underwent almost 20 surgeries for his wounds including a skin graft on his arm, as well as aggressive physical and occupational therapy. Despite his life-altering wounds, however, Kara feels grateful that Jason only suffered a mild concussion, and to this day, that he shows no signs of Traumatic Brain Injury or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Jason enjoys hand cycling, surfing, golfing, skiing, fishing, and being an active member in his community with the Church of Christ. He would like to return to school but is undecided about what he would like to do for his future career. Kara would like to resume her career as a physical therapist; she has supported her husband during every step of his rehabilitative exercises, and blogs about her experiences as the wife of a wounded veteran/amputee.

The couple would like to start a family, too, and look forward to living in a home that meets Jason’s accessibility challenges. They are grateful for the support and new life of independence that they will receive in the way of a specially adapted home from Homes for Our Troops. Says Jason, “We have been traveling a lot lately and we are finding that many places are not wheelchair friendly even though they claim to be ADA compliant. It would be great to have actually have an ADA complaint place of our own- one that I can live and function in.”






  1. bill howard says:

    Great story Richard –

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