Allan Levy, Publicity Director
It’s been more than four years since a roadside bomb in Afghanistan nearly killed First Sergeant Cory Remsburg. For the first two years and three months of his recovery, at least one member of his family was with him 24/7. To do that, his step-mother had to quit her job. The Army pays Cory’s medical bills, but it can’t cover all the expenses a family incurs dealing with wounds as severe as Cory’s.
Don’t expect Cory Remsburg to take anything – even a handshake – sitting down. This is the Army Ranger who did 10 tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, a total of three years and three months of combat. Asked whether the tougher fight was against the enemy or the battle he’s fighting now against his wounds, Cory replies, “Hands down now.”
Shrapnel from a roadside bomb near Kandahar in Afghanistan left his speech slurred, his right eye blind and his left side partially paralyzed, but he’s walking farther and farther unassisted. He has no memory of what happened.
It was October 1, 2009; his father, Craig, got the call. “It penetrated the brain,” Craig Remsburg says. “It went through the skull to the brain.” It was three-and-a-half months before he came out of a coma.” It took probably seven to eight months before he could speak,” Craig says.
In February 2010, while recovering from surgery, he had a visitor. “At that time, I could not tell which way was up,” Cory says, let alone that the visitor was the President of the United States. But the President spotted a picture in Cory’s room and realized they had met before, at the 65th anniversary of D-Day. Last August, they met for a third time. This time, he knew it was the President.
He showed the President he could stand and, with help, walk across the room. And then at the State of the Union Address Cory stood again and all the leaders of U.S. government gave him the longest standing ovation anyone can remember.
“Here was this opportunity for everybody to agree on one thing; and that one thing was this wounded warrior in the balcony,” Craig says. And what does Sergeant First Class Cory Remsburg think of the extraordinary service he has given his country? “In a perfect world, I’d do it all over again,” he says. “I’d go back if they let me.”
After hearing his incredible story, Jared Allen teamed up with Lead the Way Fund, Inc. and RIDE 430 Challenge powered by the Free Wheel Foundation, among others, to help raise money and compete the home remodel. Included in this remodel was a walk-in pool; Cory was asked if there was anything else. He said, “Tiki bar.” So they built a Tiki bar for him. Cory said, “We have to have our priorities.” When asked how far his house was from his parent’s house, Cory said, “too close.”
Cory is a member of our Post.