SPC Casimir “Cas” Werda
On Mar. 14, 2007, while serving as an Infantryman in Iraq with B Company, 1-26 Infantry, 2 Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Army Specialist Casimir “Cas” Werda was hit by an improvised explosive device (IED) blast that left him with total loss of vision and a traumatic brain injury (TBI).
Cas spent a year in recovery at Water Reed Army Medical Center in Washington D.C. “I basically had to learn how to become this new person. My entire life I’ve always been really active and competitive. When I first lost my sight, I thought I wouldn’t be able to do the things I love and enjoy, which was very hard for me. It took a while to come out of it. Once I had my two children, CJ and Penelope, I started figuring out alternative ways of doing things,” he says.
In 2010, HFOT assisted Cas with funding to adapt his home in Michigan for his accessibility needs. Today, he uses electronic devices as an audio-guide through his home. Small modifications have allowed him to become more independent and confident at home.
Cas says his two children have inspired him to continue the active lifestyle that he loves. He has been involved in sports with the United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA) along with other blind Veterans who love to play sports such as Goal Ball, Judo, and Wrestling. His future goal is to become a member of an Olympic team in any of the Paralympic sport events. Cas would also like to start his own nonprofit organization to assist other blind Veterans with their recovery process.