SSG JASON LETTERMAN

Hinesville, GA

Mission Accomplished on Feb. 12, 2011

Army Staff Sergeant Jason L. Letterman lost both of his legs, sustained Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and fractured his shoulder and pelvis from an improvised explosive device (IED) explosion in Farasiyah, Iraq, in May 2008. SSG Letterman was part of the 4th BCT, 3rd ID, conducting a patrol that was initially told by local town leaders that there were no “bad people” or weapons in the village. Upon interviewing local residents, the patrol was led to an area in question.

Finding a cache of weapons, ammunition, bombs, and materials for homemade explosives, they waited for more than four hours for the Explosive Ordnance Disposal team to arrive and destroy the cache, accomplishing the mission. SSG Letterman was injured when the gun truck in which he was riding rolled over a pressure plate while returning to his base, causing an explosion that threw the vehicle 20 feet into the air. Airlifted to Landstuhl, Germany, Jason eventually arrived at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

Jason and his wife, Elena, have three sons. Their son, Travis, is now in the Air Force. Jason enjoys hand-cycling, fishing, and is part of a hunting club. He would like to further his education by going to college and eventually would like to work for the Veterans Administration.

Since moving into his home, Jason’s quality of life has improved. “I never have to worry about going up the stairs anymore and it is no longer difficult to get cups and dishes from the shelves. Everything has been made easier for me,” he says.