SSG MICHAEL DOWNING
Mission Accomplished on February 27, 2010
Army SSG Michael Downing was on his second deployment when he lost both legs in an improvised explosive device (IED) explosion in Afghanistan in September 2008. The force of the blast blew SSG Downing from the truck he was in, throwing him into enemy territory, unprotected. Quick action by patrol leaders secured the area, all the while exchanging small arms fire as the medics worked to aid the wounded.
SSG Downing, after calling out to each of his team members to check on their conditions, suddenly realized he had irreversible damage to both of his legs and a severely injured arm as well. He was placed on the hood of a truck and rolled to a more secure area. Transported first to Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan, he was later airlifted to Landstuhl, Germany and then to Walter Reed.
SSG Downing enjoys spending time with his wife Dawnalee and their four children. He enjoys yard work and landscaping and is involved with the ELKS and VFW in his hometown.
In the time since receiving his home, Mike has been able to focus on his family and recovery. He loves hunting, fishing, playing golf and coaching his daughter’s softball team. The home has removed the burden of a mortgage and the worry about living in a safe environment for him and his family. “It allows my family to concentrate on other things, such as school and just being kids.”
An advocate of HFOT’s mission, Mike has attended various HFOT fundraiser events and spoken on its behalf. He remains forever grateful to the supporters of HFOT who helped with his home project.