Adam was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia and lived there until 1998 until the age of thirteen. He has one sister, Courtney. Adam was a member of the Boy Scouts and Air Cadets. He attended his first boot camp with Air Cadets at Greenwood Base in Nova Scotia. He participated in soccer and was on a summer competitive swim team, the Bedford Beavers. His first year of Air Cadets he received the award for Outstanding Cadet and also received various medals for his swimming. He loved to go fishing and his father would often take him and his sister on overnight fishing trips. He enjoys all sports but, of course, in Canada he and his father went to many hockey games. We moved to Whitehall, Pennsylvania in 1998 because his father was offered a job there.
In the spring of 2008 he decided to join up and he left for boot camp in Sept 2008 at Fort Leonardwood, Missouri.
He finished boot camp in November 2008 and stayed at Fort Leonardwood for his AIT training and then went to Fort Benning for Airborne school and then was posted to Fort Bragg. He is a combat engineer. He was deployed from Fort Bragg to Afghanistan in December 2009 and was there until his injury on July 14, 2010.
Adam was in an armored vehicle when they were hit with an IED. The IED was 1,000 lbs+ of explosive. There were five of them in the vehicle and Adam was the only survivor. One of the other soldiers with him that day was Spc Jesse Reed. Adam met Jesse when we first moved to Whitehall and they became best friends. They graduated together, worked together and eventually enlisted together. Jesse left for boot camp in May 2008 and Adam in September 2008. They followed the same path through boot camp, job training and were both stationed at Fort Bragg. They deployed together and were roommates in Afghanistan. We initially received word about Jesse being killed through his family and the the next day received word from the Army that Adam had been critically injured. Adam’s injuries were critical but stable, he had numerous broken bones, an eye injury and a severe brain injury. He was treated at Khandar, Bagram Air Force Base, Langstul Base in Germany and then flown to Walter Reed Hospital. He arrived stateside on July 20, 2010.
Adam was in the ICU for 15 days at Walter Reed. He got a serious infection which led to many complications. His condition worsened and he was given a 1% chance of making it. The infection attacked his body which was already in a weakened state and eventually led to severe skin problems, liver and kidney failure and the amputation of his left hand, right leg above the knee and left leg below the knee. It was suggested at this time that Adam be transferred to Texas, to Brooke Army Medical Center, however, he was too sick and could not make a trip of that distance. He was transferred to R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, Maryland. He was there from Aug 5, 2010 until Jan 5, 2011. The soft tissue team did extensive skin grafting and wound care and the trauma team treated his medical issues. Adam was in a coma for a month and during his time at Shock Trauma had brief periods of wakefulness but was not really aware of what was going on. On September 29 he was transferred from ICU to a step down unit. He was in surgery twice a week by this time and on Jan 5, 2011 he was transferred back to Walter Reed. He spent 8 months as inpatient and on Aug 19, 2011 was transferred to Brooke Army Medical Center in Texas for wound care. He had extensive skin grafts and the wounds were not closing so this is why they sent him to Texas. They did a great job and we were transferred back to the new Walter Reed at Bethesda, Maryland on October 18, 2012. He was released to outpatient on Nov 4, 2011 and he now resides at the building for wounded warriors on the post of Walter Reed.
His daily routine was physical therapy from 8 – 12 Monday to Friday. Doctor appointments were scheduled in the afternoon and he has the evening and weekends off. He is doing very well and he took his first steps on his prosthetics the first week in January 2012. Since then he has been working very hard and can now walk with the aid of a walker or canes.
He had two immediate goals: one to jump out of a plane again and the other to lead the run up to Long Street at Fort Bragg. Both of these he accomplished in March 2012 when he went back to Fort Bragg for the first time since his injury. He jumped in tandem with the Golden Knights and he led the run in his wheelchair. In September of 2012 he participated in The Tunnel to Towers 5k run in New York and was able to walk about ¾ of the race.
In November of 2012 he had additional surgery on his left leg. The knee had not been able to bend since the injury and the doctors were unable to get any range of motion and therefore the amputation was revised to through the knee. He will be refitted for new prosthetics in March 2013.
In October of 2014 Adam had resconstructive abdominal surgery to regain core muscles. He had been continuing with physical therapy and can now walk unaided on his prosthetics. He also swims and hand cycles and in April 2015 participated (and completed) the Boston Marathon.
“Adam’s dream was to join the military and he fulfilled that dream. He has no regrets. Through the past 4½ years he has had the most positive attitude and he inspires me every day. He gets up every day ready to face the challenge and he knows he will get back to his life and leave the hospital. My husband and I could not be prouder of our amazing son.”
Adam’s goals for the future are to go back to work and lead a regular life. Right now he is concentrating on getting healthy and walking.
Faces of Valor USA, with the help of many local folks, will be finishing Adams basement and putting in a man cave and exercise room.
“I was born on December 22, 1992 in Gainesville, Georgia. I grew up working on a farm, shoeing horses and mending fences to make money to buy my first car. I felt like I was going nowhere and I wanted to be and do more. I always loved the Marines and what they stood for so I joined at 17, went to Paris Island for boot camp, then deployed to Afghanistan with 1BN 8th Marines to Helmand Province.
On February 10, 2012, my life changed forever. I took my last step on my own two feet and laid for an hour in a field waiting for the medvac. Once aboard the aircraft I lost consciousness and woke up 10 weeks later at Walter Reed Hospital. I started my journey through therapy, began to walk again, and then I retired out of the Marine Corps, which was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, to give up something I love so much. I returned to Georgia and I have rebuilt my life and now my goals are to obtain a house and property and maybe one day start a family. I’m looking into being a ROTC instructor and if that does not work out I would continue to pursue my first love, rebuilding performance class race cars and making a small profit. I want to say thank you for a nominating me to be a recipient for this year’s fundraising event. Again, thank you! Semper Fi.”
Faces of Valor USA will be fitting a complete garage for Sean.
On 3 October 2011, while on foot patrol in the Sangin district, Afghanistan, Lance Corporal Mark Fidler stepped on a pressure plate IED and immediately lost both legs below the knees. The blast set off 3 grenades on his belt, severely damaging his lower back, buttocks, and upper legs resulting in the eventual removal of both legs at the hip.
While his injuries are very devastating he is very fortunate to be the first to survive injuries this severe and considers himself extremely lucky to have not sustained any injuries to his arms, hands or head. As of now Mark is still in WRNMMC in Bethesda for rehab and further surgery.
His outlook is very optimistic and he is enjoying life by going hunting, which is his passion. He is looking forward to life after rehab when he wants to live in Berks county, buy a small farm and work on classic cars.
Army SGT Luis Rosa-Valentin was on his second deployment when he was left a triple amputee with hearing and vision loss after an IED explosion in Iraq in April 2008. SGT Rosa-Valentin was part of the 4th Infantry Division, acting as a point man on a dismounted combat raid just outside of Baghdad two days before his 25th birthday. During a six-hour firefight in an area filled with snipers and combatants, Luis assisted an injured buddy, helping to medivac him out of the area, all the while being shot at by snipers. After leaving the chopper landing zone and returning to the firefight, Luis was scanning the rooftops for snipers when an IED exploded directly next to him, immediately amputating his legs and left arm and leaving him unconscious. Regaining consciousness, it took immediate life saving measures to stabilize him enough to be transported to a local hospital. He was later airlifted to Landstuhl, Germany and finally to Walter Reed Army Medical Center where he remained for nearly a year and a half.
SGT Rosa-Valentin enjoys spending time with his two young daughters. Before his injuries he was interested in anything military related and had been since he was a young boy. Growing up in a military family Luis moved from base to base as his dad’s orders changed: living in Germany and then returning stateside to complete his middle and high school years at Ft. Meade in Maryland. A fan of UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) SGT Rosa-Valentin enjoys watching the fights both in person and on television. He enjoyed sky diving pre-injury and looks forward to obtaining his sky diving certification in the future.
When asked if there was anything he would like to say to those who have made this specially adapted home possible SGT Rosa-Valentin replied, “Freedom is not free… don’t forget the fallen soldiers and please, don’t forget the soldiers who return from war. Thank you Homes for Our Troops for this gift… this home will give me back my freedom.” The Rosa-Valentin family received the keys to their specially adapted home on September 11, 2009.
2012, Faces Of Valor USA is honoring Sgt. Luis and will be finishing off his basement & putting in an elevator for Sgt. Luis and putting a play room for his two beautiful girls Bella and Millie and also a Man Cave for The good Sgt. Luis.