LCpl Ben Maenza
Mission Accomplished on Nov. 10, 2013
Marine Lance Corporal Benjamin Maenza was three weeks into his first deployment when he lost both of his legs and sustained injuries to his arm as the result of a bomb blast in Sangin, Afghanistan on Oct. 21, 2010.
While on foot patrol, LCpl Maenza and his team crossed a river and began making their way along the other side when an improvised explosive device (IED) was triggered. LCpl Maenza immediately lost both legs in the blast, requiring lifesaving measures to prepare him for helicopter transport to the nearest hospital. Airlifted to Camp Bastion, LCpl Maenza was next sent to Landstuhl, Germany before arriving to the United States at Bethesda National Naval Medical Center in Maryland.
Now medically retired, Ben and his wife Kohl now have two sons, Hank and Jack. Ben enjoys working out, cycling, swimming, and playing wheelchair basketball and volleyball. He plays sled hockey for the Nashville Sled Predators and is competing for the U.S. Paralympic team. Pursuing a college degree, Ben looks forward to a future of possibilities where he says, “I want everyone to see me for who I am, not for what I am missing.”
Ben would like to thank all of the donors and volunteers who made his specially adapted home from Homes For Our Troops a reality. “I really appreciate what everyone has done and all of the work they do support me and other injured service members. Having a specially adapted home from Homes For Our Troops gave me my independence. Thank you.”
- NBC Sports, Feb. 16, 2020 United States Marines Ben Maenza, Joseph Woodke, and John Curtin met while recovering from serious injuries sustained in the line of duty in Afghanistan. After leaving Walter Reed Military Hospital and going their separate ways, Joseph and John moved to Nashville to bring the group back together. Read more.
- USAHockey.com, April 12, 2019 Three Marines pushed each other as they recovered and adjusted to a life as double amputees. While rehabilitating at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, John Curtin, Ben Maenza and Joey Woodke discovered they had similar interests, interests that ultimately led to them becoming teammates on the ice. Read more. Read more.