Injury: TBI, Spinal Fusions, Memory loss, Shoulder and Knee injuries
Military Branch: Army
Deployed to Baghdad in 2006 and again in 2008, Josh saw a lot of action at his base, Camp Taji or “Mortar-ritaville” as it was deemed from the shear amount of mortars that peppered the base. One day in 2008 he was outside the barracks when they were hit by an even larger bomb. A bus full of explosives drove up to the entry point and detonated. Standing less than a hundred yards away, the explosion sent Josh flying backwards into a wall, breaking his back, and knocking him unconscious.
Josh came to a few moments later and was on his feet back in the action trying to help those who were worse off than himself. The “never out of the fight” attitude is how Josh lived and he finished his time at the base before his TBI started causing traumatic memory loss. In 2009 he finally was examined by doctors to show the severity of his TBI, the fractures in his spine, and the other injuries in his shoulders and knee.
Josh had always wanted to be in the Army and after overcoming melanoma cancer when he was 16 and waiting the designated 10 years of clean health, finally joined in 2005. He wished to have a 20 year career in the Army and even after his injuries in Baghdad, Josh wanted to stay in the military. It wasn’t until the complications from his injuries became overwhelming that he could no longer continue with his Army career.
After his service in the Army was over, Josh decided to continue on with his education spending his time in school, including two years at the Motorcycle Mechanic Institute. Josh then became involved with Building Homes for Heroes which lead him to taking a tour of the Adaptive Training Facility. After seeing what the athletes were doing Josh became inspired by all that they were achieving and decided immediately to join a future class.
At camp Josh has set strong goals for himself, such as regaining the strength in his body that he once had prior to his injuries. He hopes this could lead to a future as a firefighter as he plans on moving back to Texas in the upcoming year.