Jan 05 2024

My Trip to Israel

When I lost my legs from an explosion in the Kandahar Valley, Afghanistan, I fell into a state of despair.  I remember waking up in a bed in Walter Reed Hospital trying to make sense of what had happened.  As a soldier, my career was over.

But during this tumultuous moment, my father was by my side to give me life-changing advice: do not let your best days of service be behind you.  His tough love is how I became who I am today.  Thanks to his advice, I decided to serve our nation in a different capacity - from combat to Congress.

That is why I worked with an organization, The Next Step, to spread the message of hope to many new Israeli amputees, many of whom lost their limbs from Hamas’ indiscriminate bombings and shooting on October 7.  These amputees - many of whom are civilians - woke up in hospital beds, and in despair.  As an amputee myself, I know how that feels.

I also know how it feels to stand back up.  Whether standing on a new pair of legs or standing up for what I believe in, I had the chance to turn my despair into new opportunities.  One such opportunity was to speak with these men and women - who are embarking on new life journeys - to inspire them with the same advice my father gave me: to never let their best days be behind them.

I am now back in the United States, but my work is not done.  As your Representative, I will continue to fight in Congress to make sure that we each have the freedom to decide that today can be better than yesterday.