I am Travis Vendela. My entire childhood I knew I wanted to serve my country in the United States Army. During High School I joined the US Army in the delayed entry program, and upon graduation I was off to Basic Training to learn to be a Cavalry Scout. I progressed through the ranks quickly, becoming a Staff Sergeant by the age of 22.
I was deployed to Iraq in 2004 and again in 2006. My platoon was tasked with shutting down the enemy logist routes which drastically reduced IED attacks.
In early 2007 I was in my HMMWV crossing a bridge when it was struck twice by large IEDs. One directly under my feet. I lost both legs above the knee along with a severly fractured pelvis, fractured left elbow, fractured spine, fractured jaw and Traumatic Brain Injury.
Before being shipped to a combat aid station, I died and was resusitated three times. I am truly grateful to Army Medics, if not for their actions, I would be dead now.
After 30 surgeries I am physically as good as I will get. I am grateful everyday to be alive and Iive my life very happy and to the fullest. I try to bring positive messages to people and make them understand I am not angry, or bitter, or sad over my situation. I am proud to have served my country. My wife and I are happy and expecting our first child.
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