SFC Christopher “Chris” Livesay
New Braunfels, TX
Coming from a long line of family members who served, Christopher Livesay enlisted in the military at the age of 17 in 1990. He served with the 7th Special Forces Group for four years then took a one year break from the Army. When he re-joined in 1996, he was assigned to the 101st Airborne Division and immediately volunteered for Special Forces Assessment and Selection. After being selected to train as a Special Forces Medical Sergeant, he was assigned to the 5th Special Forces Group. One month after the September 11 attacks, Sergeant First Class Livesay deployed with the 5th Special Forces Group as one of the first troops to enter Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom. After that tour, he deployed again in 2003 with the same unit to Iraq.
On April 7, 2003, during his second deployment, Sergeant First Class Livesay was shot in the left knee while serving with the 5th Special Forces Group. His injury was sustained during a prolonged and intense firefight to recover 3rd Infantry Division Soldiers pinned down during the push into Baghdad. He underwent several surgeries to save his leg in Iraq and during his transport to the United States. Immediately upon his arrival to Walter Reed Medical Center, doctors performed an emergency amputation to his left leg to save his life from a bacterial infection in his wound that caused septic shock.
Christopher’s injury did not diminish his patriotic spirit nor his determination to serve his country. He spent months doing rigorous physical therapy on his own to get back in shape. Two months after receiving his first prosthetic, he returned to active Airborne status jumping from planes and shortly thereafter became the first amputee to graduate from the Army’s Pathfinder school. He was also named the 2005 U.S. Army Special Operations Command Special Forces Medic of the Year. In 2010, he was assigned to the Army’s World Class Athlete Program (WCAP) in the sport of rowing. He was later assigned to the Warrior Transition Unit in Fort Sill, Okla., before retiring in 2014.
After his injury, Christopher met and married the love of his life, Catherine, and they now have two young children. Christopher loves cooking for his family but the task is challenging in his current home because the kitchen is not wheelchair accessible. Christopher is forced to stand on his prosthetic when preparing food, which is often painful for him. Additionally, Christopher experiences safety risks daily in his home, especially in the bathroom where he has hurt himself trying to hop on one leg into the shower. Christopher has become increasingly discouraged coping with these challenges for the past 16 years. He was relieved to learn Homes For Our Troops will be building him a specially adapted custom home, where he will be able to rest his legs and recover. “I cannot wait to spend less time worrying about life and more time enjoying my family and doing things I love such as hunting, fishing, and volunteering,” he says.
Christopher is also looking forward to the financial freedom the home will bring. Once they have settled in the home, he hopes Catherine will be able to finish her degree, which she put off to focus on raising their family. Christopher would also like to return to school and learn new skills to support his family. A specially adapted custom home will also afford Christopher and Catherine the ideal environment to live their goal of homeschooling their children.
Originally from Texas, Christopher is choosing to remain in the state and build his home there.
Christopher considers HFOT and its donors and supporters to be a blessing. “What you give is not just a home but the hope and freedom necessary for us to move forward with our new lives. Thank you so much from the bottom of our hearts.”