Navy HM Joel Booth
Joel Booth joined the military wanting to be a part of something bigger than himself. He became a hospital corpsman because he felt it was a specialty that stood out and he could really make a difference. He loved the brotherhood he developed with his fellow comrades and enjoyed trying to prove himself while out in the field.
On July 21, 2011, during his first deployment, the career Hospital Corpsman Booth loved so much came to a halt. While on a morning patrol supporting the 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, HM Booth stepped on an improvised explosive device (IED) in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. The blast caused the destruction of multiple bones in his right foot, and HM Booth recalls being in excruciating pain while directing one of his Marines how to place a tourniquet on his leg.
Once back in the United States, Joel underwent several surgeries to reconstruct his foot. After enduring months of pain with little progress in his recovery, doctors amputated Joel’s leg. His injury did not quell his desire to serve his country. After medically retiring, Joel worked as a government contractor in Afghanistan in 2015. There he met his wife, Tasha, who was working as a civilian on the same contract.
Joel and Tasha, who is currently a military police officer in the Colorado Army National Guard, enjoy the outdoors, camping, hiking and raising their daughter, Adyline, who was born in 2018. Joel often gets disheartened because barriers in his current home prevent him from fully caring for his daughter. Some days, the pain of his prosthetic is too much and he prefers to use his wheelchair. His current home is not accessible, making it particularly hard for Joel to maneuver around the narrow hallways and tend to Adyline. In a specially adapted custom Homes For Our Troops home, Joel will have no trouble comforting his daughter whenever she needs him because he will be able to get to her easily and quickly in his wheelchair. Additionally, Tasha will not have to constantly worry about her husband’s safety, and Joel will be able to help her more with household tasks in the home’s accessible kitchen.
Regaining his independence and having the financial stability of an HFOT home will give Joel the foundation to create a stable future for his growing family. Originally from Missouri, Joel is choosing to build his home in Colorado because his love for the outdoors draws him to the area. He is currently studying to become a physician’s assistant at Red Rocks Community College to complement his military experience as a corpsman. He plans to become more involved with The Range of Motion Project (ROMP), a nonprofit that provides high quality prosthetic care to underserved populations. Since receiving his first prosthetic in February 2012, Joel has adapted to his new life and has returned to doing the activities he loves, like snowboarding and running.
Joel is grateful to HFOT’s donors and supporters for taking care of him and his family. “I cannot express how honored I am to even be considered for this type of life-changing gift.”