SSG Juan Amaris
West Palm Beach, FL
Mission Accomplished on August 19, 2023
Shortly after moving to the United States from Colombia in 1999, Juan Amaris felt a desire to serve his new home country. As soon as he enlisted in the Army, he knew he made the right decision – he instantly loved the camaraderie and meeting people from different backgrounds and countries. He went on his first tour to Iraq in 2003 and deployed again in 2005.
On June 20, 2006, during his second combat deployment, Staff Sergeant Amaris was serving as an ammunition team chief with the 411th Artillery Regiment when he was severely injured in an explosion on his forward operating base (FOB) in Mosul, Iraq. SSG Amaris sustained burns to over 75 percent of his body in the blast.
Juan did not wake up from the incident until several months later while he was recovering at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio. After five years of coping with the severe nerve damage to his hands, SSG Amaris made the decision to have doctors amputate both of them. He also has little range of motion in his elbows, shoulders, and neck due to scarring.
Now medically retired, Juan loves playing soccer, listening to music, traveling, and helping others. Most of all, Juan enjoys spending time with his three children and his wife Teresa Ceballos. In his former home, Juan had to rely on his family for help with routine activities like turning on the shower or opening doors. He says receiving a specially adapted custom Homes For Our Troops home is a life-changing gift. Regaining his independence in his HFOT home allows Juan to continue rebuilding his life. He and Teresa recently started a Colombian food truck and are planning to expand the business. Teresa is relieved to have a home where Juan can live in a barrier-free environment and be fully present with their family.
Juan chose to build his home in Florida.
Juan is grateful to the many HFOT’s donors and supporters who contributed to the building of his specially adapted custom home. “Thank you for the support and for bringing peace of mind to the Soldiers. This is a gift for life that not only benefits us, but also our families.”
- Florida Weekly, August 31, 2023 Homes For Our Troops Key Ceremony at the home of Army SSG Juan Amaris. Read more.
- WFLX-TV, Dec. 11, 2022 A nonprofit organization committed to constructing and donating specialized adapted homes for severely wounded veterans is building a home for a veteran who was severely injured during his tour in Iraq. Read more.