CPL Kevin McCloskey
On June 8, 2008, Army Corporal Kevin McCloskey was driving in a convoy with the 506th Infantry Regiment (4th Brigade), 101st Airborne Division, in Logar Province, Afghanistan when his vehicle struck an improvised explosive device (IED). CPL McCloskey doesn’t remember much of the incident, but has been told he saw a pressure board and swerved to avoid it, taking the majority of the blast to himself. The explosion resulted in the loss of both his legs, vision loss in his right eye, burns all over his body and a traumatic brain injury (TBI).
Once he returned to the States, CPL McCloskey underwent 30 surgeries during his stay at Brooke Army Medical Center. He credits his physical therapists and fellow Veterans at the hospital’s Center for the Intrepid in aiding his speedy recovery.
Even though Kevin has made significant progress since being injured, he still faces challenges within his home. He says the wider doorways and open floorplan will make small tasks, such as getting dressed, easier. He is also constantly burning himself when cooking in the kitchen, since the appliances are all out of reach from his wheelchair. The new home will also benefit his wife Bridget, as she has fallen several times trying to maneuver his shower assistance chair.
Kevin was an extremely competitive athlete in high school and fought mixed martial arts for the 101st Airborne. After his injury, he didn’t think he would be able to play sports or compete again, but soon found a love for golf. He now tries to spend time on the green at least a few times a week when weather permits. He says the sport has helped him physically and emotionally and helps relieve stress. Without the burden of a mortgage, Kevin says he will be able to dedicate more time helping other Veterans and amputees learn and relearn golf through the Eastern Amputee Golf Association’s First Swing clinics. He also recently took a position with the PGA Helping Our Patriots Everywhere (HOPE) Program, an organization that introduces golf to Veterans with disabilities to enhance their physical, mental, social and emotional well-being.
Kevin says he can’t put into words what it means to be receiving a home adapted to his injuries. “This will make everyday living that much easier to cope with. I can’t tell you how many times I get stressed out while just trying to iron a pair of pants. These houses really take away the stress of everyday activities,” he says. “It’s huge, not only for the Veterans but also for their loved ones knowing they have a safe place to live.”