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United States Army
“I never give up”
My name is Carlos Gomez, I joined the Army in 2009 for a better life and to leave the gang life behind. In September of 2009, I attended boot-camp at Fort Benning GA (home of the Infantry School).
I was selected to attend Airborne school after excelling in boot-camp. After completing Airborne school, I was sent to Ranger school. I was unable to finish Ranger school because of the injury I received after my parachute landing. Due to my injury, I was assigned to the 6th Squadron 4th Cavalry Scout Regiment 1st Infantry division in Fort Knox KY.
I was deployed to Afghanistan on January 1st 2011 where I was supposed to spend the next 12 months. That night at around 10 pm we started taking indirect fire with rockets forcing us to seek the bunker. It was at that moment that I knew my life was a stake.
After being there for 2 months, my unit was consistently being shot and bombed. March 19, 2011 when my life changed forever. I was the lead driver coming back from an Intel mission where my vehicle was hit by an I.E.D (Improvised Explosive Device) estimated around 400-600 LBS of explosive. I was ejected from my vehicle and took a bullet to the stomach.
I was in a medically induced coma for a month. My right leg was completely shattered and was amputated. My right arm was also shattered and was completely reconstructed with 7 screws and rod. My right femur was completely shattered and had to be replaced it with a metal rod. My lower back (L5) was completely fractured and received 2 big metal rods and 6 big screws. I had Traumatic Brain injury to my head making it really hard for me to remember things like the Day of the accident.
The soldier sitting next to me died instantly with 2 gunshot wounds to the neck and face being smashed in, which took a major impact on my life causing me to have sever PTSD and depression. I gained almost 50 LBS and was once at 190 LBS in 2013.
Since then, I had to learn to deal with myself and the loss of my best friend. I now weigh 163 lbs. I Rock climb, I cross country ski, I’m certified as an advanced scuba diver and I swim with one leg on. I mountain bike and I work out twice a day in the gym.
A lot of people consider me a walking motivation to their personal lives because I never give up and I’m constantly working out despite my injuries or pain. I got rehired through the army as a civilian and now work in the real estate department deal with recruiting offices.