Your entire life can change on a dime. For Dave Riley, the culprit was much smaller than that.

As a search-and-rescue swimmer in the Coast Guard, Riley knew there were risks involved in his profession. But it wasn’t a dangerous rescue that led to tragedy. In fact, the risk was completely invisible to the eye.

While Riley was vacationing off the shores of Dauphin Island, Alabama, bacteria in the water led to an infection which eventually turned septic. His body went into shock, and he fell into a coma. When he woke up three months later, he found all four of his limbs had been amputated in order to save his life.

Keep Reading Show less
More
True
DAV

In 2013, Shealynn Casserly was deployed to Afghanistan as a combat medic. Three months later, she went through a life-altering experience.

She was out with engineers doing routine clearance early in the morning. She remembers the sky being a beautiful indigo blue as it was just starting to get light and that they were making trivial conversation when their vehicle hit an improvised explosive device (IED). Casserly was thrown 40 feet, so far that the other soldiers had to search for her.

What it looks like when a military vehicle hits an IED. Photo via U.S. Army/Flickr.

Keep Reading Show less
More
True
DAV

When U.S. Marine Sam Johnson was on patrol in Iraq, he and his team came across a pressure plate IED.

It hit the front of his vehicle.

Fortunately, everyone survived the traumatic experience. Sam sustained some injuries to his knees, but after a number of surgeries, he was able to recover physically. "I feel good," he said. "Now I can walk downstairs without too much pain."

Keep Reading Show less
More
True
Disabled American Veterans