Injury: Above Knee Amputee
Military Branch: USMC
Hello I am retired LCPL Phillip Quintana. I joined the United States Marine Corps June 2004, 2 days after my high school graduation. I went through M.C.R.D. San Diego becoming a Hollywood Marine.
Upon boot camp graduation, I went through School of Infinity training at Camp Pendleton to become a heavy machine gunner. I was tasked to 2nd Battalion 3rd Marines Heavy Weapons Co. in Kaneohe Bay HI. May 2005 my battalion was ordered to Asadabad Afghanistan and we were disbanded. Myself, 3 squads and some higher brass were ordered to a tiny Forward Operating Base (FOB) named Camp Blessing. While in Afghanistan I was with our combined anti armor team, turret mounted on the .50 caliber and the MK-19 heavy machine guns.
On September 29th 2005, our mission was to go to Asadabad in an 8-vehicle convoy. Earlier that day we were halted top of the mountainside due to possible improvised explosive devices (IED). We stopped and turned our Warlock jamming device off, a devise that interrupted wireless triggering signals to set off these bombs, for the US Army EOD team to ground clear all the IED’s that we found. After 8 or 9 hours of stand still we went Oscar Mike (on the move). Forgetting to turn our Warlock back on, we mounted up and left. While the rest of the convoy was down the mountainside we got hit, we won the lottery, the 3rd IED.
Standing in the gunners box looking down it felt like slow motion. I went flying out of the turret about 15ft up and 20ft away from the vehicle. When I came to a stop, I was lying on the ground holding my leg with my pistol next to me ready for that just in case moment. Eight hours went by before we were cleared to be picked up by helos. The doctors in Germany, Bethesda and myself wanted to keep my leg at the time so they tried limb salvage for almost 10 years before ultimately removing my limb and having an above knee revision this past year.
Since starting ATF, I have been so motivated to begin helping others as they did for me, that I moved my awesome wife and two amazing children from Arizona to Texas. We are now living in McKinney, TX. Although I still struggle everyday, I strive to make a better life for my family and me. The pursuit of helping others through telling my story and giving back, helps me find myself and allows me to continue to serve those who served me.