SGT Michael Gower
Michael Gower was admittedly a “wild child” in his youth, and enlisted in the Army to find direction and discipline in his life. He deployed twice as an Infantryman out of Fort Lewis to Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom, 2003-2004 and 2006-2007.
On Aug. 2, 2007, while serving in Baghdad on his second deployment with A Company, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry, 3rd Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, the vehicle transporting Army SGT Gower rolled over a two-ton, subsurface improvised explosive device (IED). The subsequent blast killed several of SGT Gower’s teammates, and injured eight others, including fellow HFOT Veteran Adam Putt. SGT Gower was pinned in the vehicle, critically injuring his back and fracturing both his feet, tibia and fibula. He also sustained a severe traumatic brain injury (TBI).
Medically retired in January 2009, Michael underwent numerous limb salvage surgeries over the years to aid in his recovery. Currently, he is only ambulatory for short distances, and doctors have not ruled out amputating both legs in the future. Receiving a specially adapted home from Homes For Our Troops will provide him and his wife Kelli with a sense of security, allowing him to have full wheelchair access and independence. His current challenges of living on a hill with a steep driveway will also be eliminated once he moves into a new HFOT home. “This new home will improve my quality of life because I will be able to get in and out of my house,” says Michael. “It will also make my wife and son’s life better since they won’t have to watch me struggle.”
In his free time, Michael enjoys spending time with Kelli and their son Alexander. He also enjoys hunting, fishing, woodworking and tinkering with small mechanical projects. Living in a mortgage-free home will afford him the time to spend time on his hobbies, and equip him with the space he needs for his tools and projects. Most importantly, the home will allow him to become financially stable and focus on being a dad.
Michael is already working to pay it forward by assisting several Veteran support organizations in his community. He is an active member in his VFW post, and is actively engaged with the Dorr American Legion, Operation Injured Soldiers, and Buddy to Buddy Program. He and Kelli look forward to having a new home in the Wayland area to be close to family. They wish to extend their gratitude to HFOT’s supporters for providing them with the life-changing gift of a new forever home.