SPC Stephen Peterson
Land O’ Lakes, FL
Stephen Peterson joined the Army with the intention of building a solid foundation for his future. He enlisted immediately after high school in 2010 as a combat engineer with the 572nd Mobility Augmentation Company. He loved the brotherhood and welcoming community the military provided, and anticipated having a long career in the service.
On July 1, 2011, only a few months into his first deployment, Specialist Peterson was riding in a Buffalo vehicle on a route clearance mission with his unit in Ghazni, Afghanistan, when an improvised explosive device (IED) exploded directly under his seat. SPC Peterson immediately lost his right leg in the blast, and also sustained fractured hips and a traumatic brain injury (TBI).
Once back in the United States, Stephen was treated at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, where he learned how to walk on a prosthetic and integrate back into daily activities and civilian life.
Now medically retired, as Stephen looks forward to starting a life with his fiancée Brittany, his excitement is tainted with uncertainty and worry about providing for his family since his home is not accessible. The pain from wearing a prosthetic often becomes unbearable for Stephen by the end of the day, so he prefers to rest his legs in his wheelchair when at home. A specially adapted custom Homes For Our Troops home will allow Stephen to take care of daily tasks easily and comfortably, giving him more time for Brittany and his future. He wants to go back to school and start his own nonprofit for other Veterans. In his free time he plays sled hockey and enjoys paddling, surfing, playing guitar, and photography.
Originally from Florida, Stephen is choosing to remain in the state and build his home there to be close to family and the VA.
Stephen and Brittany say HFOT is truly a blessing, and HFOT’s donors and supporters are the foundation for helping Veterans. “I am extremely fortunate to have people like you who care so deeply. Nothing I can say can really measure how truly thankful I am.”