SPC Steven Baskis
Mission Accomplished on Sept. 22, 2018
On May 13, 2008, Army Specialist Steven Baskis, an Infantryman, was on a patrol as part of the personal security detachment for division leadership with Delta Company, Special Troops Battalion, 4th Infantry Division in Baghdad, Iraq, when an explosively formed penetrator (EFP) detonated next to his vehicle. The blast resulted in the complete loss of his vision, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and nerve damage to his left arm. The explosion also killed his teammate and friend, Staff Sergeant Victor Cota, who was sitting next to him in the vehicle.
Steven has not let his injuries prevent him from living life to the fullest. He spends much of his time outdoors – mountaineering, skiing, cycling, and kayaking. He also plays the drums, guitar and other instruments. He is highly involved with the Blind Endeavors Foundation, an organization he started. “Blindness is a lifelong challenge. Stare into the darkness and you will never find your way, but if you explore through the darkness, you’re bound to stumble upon a great adventure,” he says.
Although Steven has conquered climbing some of the highest mountains in the country, living in a home without adaptations posed even greater challenges. Before receiving his HFOT home, he was not been able to live alone and had moved several times with friends and family.
A home adapted to his needs enables Steven to live independently. He is able to answer the door safely by using an intercom system, and he also has accessible appliances. The open floor plan and automatic doors make it easier for him to navigate his way around the home.
Steven has aspirations to serve the country again in the biathlon at the Paralympics in the future. A specially adapted custom home provides him a foundation and stability, enabling him to focus on his sports training.
Originally from Illinois, Steven chose to build his home in Colorado to be close to the mountains, which he can climb more frequently. In January 2020, Steven climbed Aconcagua, the tallest mountain in the western and southern hemispheres. In the spring of 2020, Steven began a bachelor’s program through Berklee College of Music studying percussion and music production. He has set up a music studio in his HFOT home and also hosts his own podcast.
Steven says after war and going through a traumatic experience, he sometimes feels lost but organizations like HFOT provide him with hope. “This organization and its faithful donors change lives every year. It is because of you I can enjoy life more completely. A home is a foundation and corner stone from which dreams and adventures can spring,” he says.
- KKCO 11 News, Sept. 22, 2018 The national nonprofit organization Homes For Our Troops donated a home to Army Specialist Steven Baskis Saturday. Read more.
- KKCO 11, Sept. 14, 2018 A Montrose Veteran just got back home on Thursday from kayaking the Grand Canyon. It’s a feat none-the-less, but Steve Baskis is blind. He was injured during a tour in Baghdad. Read more.
- Montrose Press, Aug. 28, 2018 Army Specialist Steven Baskis is close to moving into his new home. The Veteran, who is receiving an adaptive home from the nonprofit Homes for Our Troops, received some help from the community this past Saturday during the Homes For Our Troops Volunteer Day. Read more.
- KKCO 11 News, Aug. 27, 2018 A veteran will be getting a new home in Montrose soon, thanks to a non-profit and the community. Read more.
- The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, March 5, 2018 Like some kind of hometown celebrity, a massive sign announces the arrival of a new home for retired Army SPC Steve Baskis.The lot is mostly mud with the hint of a foundation located off a roomy lane in a Montrose subdivision. Read more.
- The Montrose Press, Jan. 9, 2018 When the escort made of area American Legion Riders posts and first responders for Army Specialist Steven Baskis pulled up to Crossroads Victory Fellowship Hall on Jan. 6, the crowd went wild. Read more.
- KKCO News 11, Jan. 8, 2018 Army Specialist Steven Baskis lost his sight after he was wounded in the War in Iraq. But he hasn’t let his disability stop him from enjoying the adventure of a lifetime. Read more.
- The Montrose Press, Dec. 17, 2017 Since his injury and recovery, Steven Baskis hasn’t lived on his own and has moved a number of times with family and friends. This will soon change as he was selected to receive a home built specifically for him by Home For Our Troops. Read more.