In the spirit and history of Veterans Day, we think there is no better way to honor service to country than to highlight some of the veterans we’ve been so very fortunate to help, each with their own unique and compelling story of commitment and sacrifice. We lead off the series with the story of Marine Corps Sgt. Carlos Evans.
As the squad leader of a foot patrol, he and his unit were good at pinpointing and exterminating the deadly weapons. Evans was on his fourth deployment to the war zone, and he knew his job well.
But the enemy became increasingly cunning.
Insurgents planted bombs built with wooden parts instead of the easily detected metal versions. Evans stepped on one. He lost both his legs and his left hand in the blast.
Back in the United States, doctors worked to repair the damage. Evans lost track of the number of surgeries he underwent.
His wife, Rosemarie, hurried to his side at the hospital and left the couples’ two young daughters in North Carolina with friends. It was clear that Evans had months of recovery ahead. The family did not want to live apart.
Evans, his wife and young daughters, Nairoby and Genesis, moved into a hotel room near Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Evans was in a wheelchair. The space quickly became crowded and stressful.
Evans also worried about his family’s safety. It wasn’t right for his family to spend so much time alone, in a hotel, in a city they didn’t know, he said.
Operation Homefront provided the family with a safe home in which they could be comfortable. The Evans family lived in a free, fully furnished apartment at Operation Homefront Village in Bethesda while he underwent medical treatment. While there, Evans practiced walking on his prosthetics, along with his youngest daughter who was learning to walk, too. It also gave them enough space for family to visit and help out.
“We had that family environment back that we had at home,” Evans said. “We’re very, very, very grateful for Operation Homefront.” Watch a video of Carlos speaking about his experience in his own words.
Where is the Evans family now? The Evans family moved to North Carolina to a newly built modified house that was provided by a local non-profit organization. Carlos has been able to meet President Obama and is involved in mono-skiing and cycling. The family is doing great and we are honored to have provided some relief to this very special family during their transition!
Join in the conversation with us as we celebrate those veterans among us, by sharing stories of your own. Through Facebook or Twitter, please use the hashtag #11days11stories to share your own inspirational story of a veteran in your life.