Sgt Dustin Johns
Lee’s Summit, MO
Mission Accomplished on July 16, 2016
A technician with the 2nd Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Company, Marine Sergeant Dustin Johns was clearing an area of explosive hazards in the Sangin Valley, Afghanistan when he stepped on an improvised explosive device (IED). The blast occurred on November 12, 2011 while Sgt Johns was on his second deployment, and resulted in the traumatic amputation of both legs and two fingers on his right hand.
After doctors performed life-saving surgeries at Camp Leatherneck, Sgt Johns was transported to Landstuhl, Germany and then flown stateside to Walter Reed in Bethesda. After just seven weeks of intensive therapies, Dustin was ready for his first step on prosthetics, his wife Melissa proudly watching. But as the couple soon found out after Dustin was released from the hospital, learning to walk again would be just one of several challenges during his recovery.
The Johns previously lived in a home with stairs, requiring Dustin to navigate them with prosthetics; which are often uncomfortable and painful when worn for many hours. Melissa worried about him slipping on the floor or getting injured while climbing the counters or “doing acrobatics” to reach for things in his quest to “do things himself.” Their specially adapted home from Homes For Our Troops, they say, alleviates all of these worries – and more. “Living in an accessible home means the world to my wife and me,” says Dustin. “I enjoy the security and freedom knowing that I can navigate my home without barriers.”
Additionally, the Johns say that living mortgage-free allows them to pursue their education. After Dustin completes his undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering, he plans on getting his masters in prosthetics and orthotics. Melissa recently completed nursing school. The couple became parents to a baby girl named Piper in February 2015. In his spare time, Dustin enjoys playing golf, disc golf, hiking, skiing, and SCUBA diving. The two would like to thank Homes For Our Troops’ donors and supporters for helping them rebuild their lives.