Yorktown, VA

Mission Accomplished on March 6, 2016

Diving has always been and continues to be a passion for Army SSG Woody Slate, and he was proud and eager to serve his country with the 86th Dive Detachment when he deployed to Iraq in February of 2004.

Throughout his deployment, SSG Slate performed a series of treacherous dives in the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers. The repeated dives and arduous work that is routinely asked of Army Divers caused numerous injuries, but the most serious one was the development of a severe case of compartment syndrome in both of his lower legs. By August of 2004, his condition had become so critical he needed to be medically evacuated to Landstuhl, Germany and then sent stateside for additional medical care.

During the next eight years, Woody endured numerous surgeries in an attempt to salvage his legs, none of which were successful. In 2012, the doctors determined that amputation of both legs was necessary and that the damage from the compartment syndrome made his legs unsalvageable.

As long and as difficult his recovery has been, SSG Slate says “I wouldn’t take one day of it back. I am proud to be an Army Diver and Soldier.” With a specially adapted custom home from HFOT, he now has full wheelchair access to all areas of his home. He especially loves the kitchen, where he is able to navigate through and retrieve items from the cabinets with ease to prepare meals.

Woody and his wife, Sandra, a certified phlebotomist, are parents to sons, Lane and Kyle, and daughter, Christy. Both sons are graduates of Hampden Sydney College (HSC), while Christy is an English Major at Christopher Newport University. Woody is involved with wakesurfing and travels frequently with Wake for Warriors, a nonprofit organization focused on providing therapeutic services through the transformative powers of watersports.

“This home from HFOT gave me the independence to be able to participate in our children’s lives through volunteering at their school, to being their football coach for six years, and I will be forever grateful for that opportunity and the opportunities in the future to serve others,” says Woody.