SPC Harry V. Stokes
Having previous experience as an EMT, Army Specialist Stokes served as a line medic with the 3-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 1-23 Infantry. Three months into his first deployment, on June 3, 2012, Army Specialist Stokes was on patrol in Panjwai Valley, Afghanistan, when he stepped on an improvised explosive device (IED), which was followed by an ambush. The blast immediately amputated his right leg and left foot. Using his skills as a medic while under enemy fire, SPC Stokes applied tourniquets to his legs and administered his own morphine until another medic came to his aide.
Once in the hospital, Harry underwent several surgeries to his legs and doctors eventually amputated his left leg below the knee. After enduring physical therapy at the Center for the Intrepid in San Antonio and the Palo Alto VA, Harry is now able to walk on his prosthetics for short periods of time. He says his family and close friends provided him with strength during his recovery. “Family and friends give you hope and reminds you the world is bigger than yourself,” he says.
Now medically retired, Harry enjoys playing music, going to music shows, attending soccer matches, and dancing. However, Harry faces many challenges living on his own. There are steps leading up to the entrance of his home, and he cannot fit in two of the different rooms while in his wheelchair. “Everything I used to do is ten times harder now,” he says.
A single-level specially adapted Homes For Our Troops home with an automatic entrance and an open floor plan will alleviate many of the challenges Harry currently faces. Since leaving the military, Harry has moved around trying to find adequate healthcare. He looks forward to the stability of a permanent home near the VA in California, allowing him to go back to school.
Harry says he is extremely grateful to be receiving a specially adapted home and promises to pay it forward to his own community. “I want to give back everything that has been given to me,” he says.