The 24th of October 2004 is a day Sgt. Joey Bozik will never forget. His humvee was hit by a roadside bomb in Iraq. That day, he became a triple amputee. He lost his right arm, right leg below the knee, and his left leg above the knee.
The 28 year old North Carolina native spent many weeks at Walter Reed Medical Center. He began physical therapy and married his sweetheart. He still had to figure out how to adjust to his new body.
While at Walter Reed, heard of the Sentinels for Freedom Scholarship Program. The program is designed to help amputees go back to school. They interviewed Bozik and awarded him a 4 year scholarship.
This was a major changed for Bozik. He’d have to move to California with his new bride. He found a job with Wells Fargo which helped out. Then the Blue Star Moms pitched in. The Boziks had an apartment. It was empty but completely inappropriate for a disabled person. The Blue Star Moms set out to make the apartment livable for an amputee. They tore out carpeting, modified sinks and doorknobs, added ramps, and furnished the place.
The Boziks will begin their new life soon. Joey has alot to work out. Everything he took for granted had to be relearned. Though he has prosthetic legs, he depends on a wheelchair for certain tasks.
Joey is indebted to the Sentinels of Freedom program. In addition to handing out scholarships, the program works with community leaders to provide for the other needs of military amputees. Wells Fargo has provided Joey a job, Castle Construction a home, and the Blue Star Moms have furnished it. Supporting the troops takes on a whole new meaning when communities pull together.
Note: Sentinels of Freedom has helped a couple of veterans. If all goes well, they will be bringing another soldier to Livermore, Califonria very soon. Check out the Sentinels of Freedom Program website for more information about their program.