Cpl Darryl Charles
Darryl Charles was motivated to join the military after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He enlisted in the Marines right after high school and went on his first deployment to Afghanistan in 2010 and again in 2011.
On Oct. 17, 2011, during his second deployment, Corporal Charles, a mortarman, was conducting a patrol with the 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines, in Helmand Province, Afghanistan when he stepped on an improvised explosive device (IED). Cpl Charles sustained severe damage to both legs and internal injuries as a result of the blast.
Once back in the United States, Darryl endured numerous surgeries for three years while being treated at Walter Reed and Balboa medical centers. The damage to his right leg was so severe, doctors decided to amputate his leg above the knee. Today, Darryl continues to work with a trainer to improve his gait and balance, and he is currently planning to have ACL reconstruction surgery on his left knee.
Medically retired, Darryl and his wife Desiree are proud parents to their son Kingsley, who was born in 2017. Darryl loves being a dad and watching his son grow, but he cannot fully relax and enjoy fatherhood because of barriers in his non-adapted home. Darryl’s frustration with his living environment increased as Kingsley started crawling, and he realized how many safety hazards in his home prevent him from keeping up with his son. When showering, Darryl balances on one leg, risking further injury to his knee. A specially adapted custom Homes For Our Troops home will allow Darryl to live comfortably and, most importantly, give him more time for Desiree and Kingsley. “This home will enable me to properly take care of my family and allow myself to better provide for them, now and in the future,” he says.
With the freedom and independence he will regain in an HFOT home, Darryl will be able to concentrate on finishing his degree in information technology from National University in San Diego and his job as a DOD civilian with the Navy. He will also have time for his other hobbies which include working out, hiking, riding motorcycles, and snowboarding.
Originally from Southern California, Darryl is choosing to build his home there for the area’s great school district, proximity to the VA, and to be close to friends and family.
Darryl says he is humbled and grateful to HFOT’s donors and supporters. “Your generous gratitude and hard-working determination have truly helped out those who have had their lives forever altered. Thank you for all that you have done and continue to do.”