CPL JOSHUA HOFFMAN

Middleville, MI

Mission Accomplished on Jan. 31, 2009

Joshua Hoffman

On Jan. 6, 2007 Cpl Joshua Hoffman was on patrol in the streets of Fallujah, Iraq when a man with a rocket propelled grenade appeared in his line of sight. The insurgent ran off, forcing Josh’s group of Marines to follow and capture him. It was a standard, by the book procedure that they followed effortlessly. Josh was assigned to lead the group of men on foot.

One shot rang-out, the men yelled “take cover!”, and everyone dove to the ground. His men got up to make sure everyone was okay – but one man did not. Josh lay face-down in the filthy Iraq soil, unable to move, until his Navy Corpsman came to his aid. His men frantically did everything they could to keep everyone safe while trying to save his life, and it worked.

Josh spent 20 months away from his home, his friends, and his family. Fourteen of those months were spent inside the four walls of his hospital room, 800 miles away from home, staring at the same ceiling, praying to wake up and be back in Iraq, having all this be a bad nightmare. However, he is more optimistic than 95 percent of the others who have so much more use of their bodies. He says he’s lucky – lucky to be alive, and lucky it’s not worse. A man who had everything, a life many dream of, and now can hardly speak, barely see, and cannot move even a finger to itch his nose. Yet, he still says he is lucky.

He was dependent on a ventilator to breathe for him for six months, and still relies on a tracheotomy and oxygen. He fights everyday to relearn his speech, regain abilities to move. It’s been a long road to recovery, but he’s fighting on.

Homes For Our Troops awarded Josh Hoffman a specially adapted home on Jan. 31, 2009.