HOVER OVER EACH VETERAN TO REVEAL THEIR STORY
United States Army Corporal Charles Lemon
Charles “Charlie” Lemon is a 30 year old retired Army Corporal and Tampa native. Corporal Lemon deployed to An Najaf, Iraq in August of 2010 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn. On June 8th 2011, just 6 weeks before he was scheduled to return home, Charlie’s truck was hit by an EFP (Explosively Formed Penetrator) and, tragically, Lemon lost both of his legs in the attack.
Since that life-changing day, Charlie spent 18 months recovering in San Antonio. Being bound to a wheelchair, Charlie would need a particular type of home to meet his needs. That’s when Charlie was introduced to Operation Finally Home and the Gramatica family. Still living life to the fullest Charlie is striving to do great things in the community to help give back what was so graciously given to him.
United States Army Sergeant Justin Lansford
SSG Justin Lansford deployed to Iraq in April 2010 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, and in February 2012 to Ghazni Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. On April 23, 2012, Justin was severely injured when a roadside bomb struck the truck from which he was machine-gunning suffering the loss of his left leg above the knee, crush injuries and nerve damage to his right leg, a ruptured spleen, damage to his liver and pancreas, two collapsed lungs, a broken back and burns to his right arm among other injuries. Justin moved to Tampa, FL following completion of all treatments at Walter Reed to be closer to his family and support system. Justin is currently attending the University of South Florida in pursuit of a bachelor’s degree in International Studies focusing on the Middle East.
United States Army SPC Stephen Peterson
On July 1, 2011, while deployed in Afghanistan an explosive device destroyed the vehicle SPC Stephen Peterson was riding in. This explosion caused SPC Peterson to lose his right leg above the knee, fractured a hip, along with other trauma. Operation FINALLY HOME (OFH) in partnership with Community Partners in Revitalization (CPR) selected him to receive a new home. The Gramatica Family Foundation and CPR, a local non-profit in the greater Tampa Bay Area took point and began the process to assemble the participants needed to donate the home, while providing a rent-free condo in the Ybor area as the home was constructed.
United States Air Force Staff Sgt. Laura Andrea-Narvaez Sellinger
Laura enlisted in the military on May 6, 2003 as an Intelligence Operations Specialist. In August 2006, an improvised explosive device (IED) exploded near her, resulting in a severe brain injury that would be the first of three she experienced during her time in Iraq. Sellinger was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and the effects associated with her brain injuries when she was sexually assaulted at a base in Korea. She medically retired from service on June 23, 2008, leaving with a number of injuries. The results of her injuries are long term and have worsened with age. Sellinger currently lives in Florida with her mother, Ildiko; husband, U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. John Sellinger; and Ming, her service dog.
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