Sam Angert Biosketch
It was almost as if it were a sign from God. I woke up one morning deciding to join the military. Academically I was ok, if I would just put in that effort I could have accomplished more than I thought; in school that is. At the ages of 16-18 I was just another young kid running around on the streets with friends. I thought and was almost positive that the time would never come to have to grow up. I chose the paths that lead me to sitting here writing this essay.
Four years later I am a decorated soldier under the United States Army in the process of retiring. Graduating high school in 2007 I went into the army at the age of 18. I was stationed with the first cavalry division that was based out of Ft. Hood, TX. In February of 2009 I left the U.S. to deploy to IRAQ with my unit. On the 23rd of Aug of 2009 my convoy was hit by what is called an IED (improvised explosive device). Out of a three-vehicle convoy my vehicle was the lead vehicle and was the first and the only to be impacted by the explosion. We had one killed in action; a young lieutenant from St.Johnsbury Vermont was killed. (Joseph D. Fortin). There were also two wounded casualties. One had sustained a leg injury right near his femoral artery, and the other was in severely critical condition and was not expected to survive.
I was that young man in the lead vehicle of that convoy that had sustained major injuries to my face, my arm, and my brain as well. My men in Iraq that I served side by side with had a memorial service for me. They did not expect me to surpass and survive the trauma. To survive the initial surgeries which were performed included removal of the right side skull, relieving hemorrhaging to the brain, removal of bruised and dead brain matter, and saving the forearm muscle, which was damaged by shrapnel as well as the right eye. You put all of that together and you get what we army boys call the whole package. Almost 2 years into the injury with having almost everything back to normal I sit here and explain the biggest and most meaningful event that has gone to pass in my life. It has opened my eyes on so many different things in life. It has also come to my attention that life will bring obstacles and brick walls will be put in front of you. If the individual going through the struggle doesn’t show his or her resilience or determination/persistence it will either push you further or break you down. There is no such thing as giving up, never be a quitter and you are never alone.