When I was serving in Afghanistan, I stepped on an IED that resulted in the loss of both of my legs and my left index finger. But with most of my life still ahead of me, I made a choice: I wasn’t going to let my greatest accomplishment in my life behind me.
The road to recovery was a difficult one, and I fell down every single day. But I learned to walk again and proved to myself and my children that this obstacle wouldn’t get the best of me.
Learning to live with injuries sustained in combat - like walking on two prosthetic limbs - is not easy, and many of my fellow soldiers that I recovered with at Walter Reed sustained injuries that were much more serious than mine.
But despite everything they had already given our country, they kept fighting to get back up again. Once they left Walter Reed, they faced a whole new series of challenges, including homes that weren’t built with accessibility in mind. I was the beneficiary of nearly unlimited kindness and a lot of generosity that supported my family at that point in our lives, but I know that’s not the case for everybody.
That’s why I believe our government should do more to ensure veterans recovering from life-changing injuries have an accessible home to return to. Recently, the House passed a critical piece of legislation - the Ryan Kules Specially Adaptive Housing Improvement Act - to help veterans modify their homes to accommodate their disability. Specifically, the bill expands access to grants and increases the resources available to veterans who need to modify their homes as a result of their injuries.
My hope is that if we can get this bill signed into law, men and women like those that I recovered with at Walter Reed will have the full support that they have earned!