David Bronson (Sgt., US Army) – Auburn, NH
Nature of Project: TBD – Swimming Pool OR Spa OR Swim Spa
We have a deserving combat wounded veteran in this area that has applied but before we can move forward, we need your help. We need a project/construction lead in the area to coordinate with. If you or someone you know would be willing to step-up and help us complete our mission please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
My name is SGT(RET) David Bronson. My military career began back in November 2002 when I entered the US Army as a 19 kilo armor crewman on an M1A1 Abrams main battle tank. Shortly after completing my basic training and advanced individual training I deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003. The unit I deployed with was 3/69 armor battalion 3rd infantry division, Ft Stewart Ga where I served as a loader and gunner. My unit redeployed to Ft Stewart where we trained heavily to be ready for our next deployment in 2005 in support of OIF3. I deployed again to Iraq in January 2005 to the city of Samarra, 10 miles south of Tikrit and 60 miles north of Baghdad. On this deployment I served as a gunner as part of a PSD team(personal security detachment). On Sept 9 2005 my patrol started out as pretty much any other but ended up changing my life. I was the gunner on the trail Humvee doing a typical security patrol when our Humvee was struck with an IED that consisted of two 155mm artillery shells. My Humvee was hit on the driver’s side and immediately tore the 300lb rear door clean off the hinges as well as tearing through the turret on the roof of my truck where I was standing. The following 6 days I was in a coma but my medic told me what had happened. When my medic reached my Humvee from the lead gun truck they were unable to get to me because the rear seat was on fire and the passenger side door was damaged by shrapnel making it unable to be opened. After a few minutes they were able to extract me through the roof of the truck and get me to a nearby aid station we had placed throughout the city. At that point I had a chest tube inserted and coded while they were doing so. From there I was transported to Balad medical hospital and packaged to make the flight to Germany. Once I reached stateside I was in a coma for another 3 days and later found out that I had coded two more times in Germany while in surgery and also went through 81 pints of blood in the 48 hours following the IED attack. After roughly a month at Walter Reed in Washington DC I was presented with my Purple Heart award by president Bush after joking a few days prior that I only wanted the president to present it to me (half-jokingly). The following year was extremely difficult while learning to walk again after losing my left leg and getting shot in my right knee, I also had extensive damage to my left arm, left lung and left ear resulting in plastic surgery to correct the disfigurement. I stayed at Walter reed for a year and a half until May of 2007 when I was medically retired and currently live in Auburn NH with my wife Cara and our 3 year old son and our 18 month old daughter.
Since the accident I have had lower back pain. I have degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis and sciatic pain which causes numbness, back spasms and tingling down my left side. I grew up playing baseball and hockey. Prior to my accident I was in the best shape of my life. I have found it extremely difficult finding a type of physical activity that helps in my recovery. I have tried running, CrossFit, biking, weight lifting and swimming. Since my range of motion is extremely limited on my left side this causes my balance to be off, which in turn causes more back pain. Having a pool/hot tub would enable me to exercise without my prosthetic, have better balance, decrease my pain and take the pressure off my lower back so that I’m able to exert effort and feel comfortable while doing so. It would also give me a chance to keep up with my kids and enjoy my time spent with them.