Twenty-year-old Marine Corporal Carlos was serving his first deployment to Afghanistan in 2010. His responsibility as a combat engineer was to lead a 12-man patrol while sweeping the ground for explosives.
Three months into his deployment, one of these explosives discharged, taking both of Carlos’s legs. In and out of consciousness, it took a while before he realized that his limbs were gone.
Although other service members on his team were also injured, they were fortunate that the outcome was not worse. On the other side of the track was a much larger bomb, which, if detonated, may have caused more damage.
Today, recently retired from the Marine Corps, Carlos uses prosthetics; his activity, however, is restricted by the heavy devices. His wife, Jacki, says that her husband doesn’t like to be pushed in a wheelchair, as he values his independence.
In fact, since coming home to California, Carlos has hand-cycled six marathons! In addition, he competed in wheelchair basketball and racing at the 2012 Warrior Games. His basketball team won the 2013 Western Conference Championship, and he recently ran a 5K race using prosthetic legs.
Despite his many achievements, including courses to become an ultrasound technician, there are still places this Marine wants to go. Campgrounds, hiking trails, and the beach, being a few. These settings are difficult to maneuver with prosthetic limbs or a wheelchair, and Carlos had yet to take his one-year-old daughter to his favorite outdoor locations.
That was until December when Freedom Alliance presented Corporal Carlos with a significant Christmas present: an all-terrain, off-road Action Trackchair.
“Corporal Carlos served our nation honorably and has paid a difficult price for our freedom,” said Freedom Alliance President Tom Kilgannon. “In donating this Trackchair to him, we hope to express our gratitude and lift some of the burden for a Marine, who sacrificed his health and well-being to serve our country.”
“It opens up so many opportunities for us,” Carlos said, anticipating all the outdoor activities he’d been missing since his injury.
Freedom Alliance recognizes Carlos’s endurance and optimism and hopes that allowing these new opportunities for Carlos will empower him to inspire other service members enduring similar injuries.
Jacki was happy for the freedom that the Trackchair will give her husband. “It’s the best Christmas present we could have asked for,” she said.