Sgt. Kendra Garza was hit by an IED that instantly blew off her leg while on tour in Afghanistan.
Serving in the military had always been her passion. She put in time at Ft. Benning and a station in Germany before being called to action in Afghanistan, a call that would change her life.
We were clearing the village…I saw a wooden cart. I got a weird feeling and walked up to the sidewalk to the right of me. Whenever I heard the bomb go off, I thought it was one of my battle buddies. Everything went into slow motion. My first thought was one of my battle buddies was dead. It was me. (I said) ‘I’m not dying today’. I was covered in blood and pieces of my own flesh. I applied pressure to the artery with my hands.”
One of the most common questions that she receives? “Would you do it again, knowing that this would happen?” And her answer is about as patriotic as you could wish for:
It’s important for people to know that I’d do it again to keep America safe from terrorists.” She said.
I stayed really calm and didn’t freak out. The medic that saved me, he’s having PTSD issues. He said I was one of the most calm casualties he’s ever treated. I thought ‘Oh my God, what if I don’t make it out of here?’ I couldn’t let myself continue to think about it or I’d go into a state of panic.”
But she did make it and decided to go through recovery in Germany with her fellow soldiers instead of returning home.
Yes, I lost a leg and I have many scars on my body, and I have PTSD, but I have never felt stronger and more beautiful than I do today. America has given that back to me.”
During her rehab, she met the man that would soon become her husband. She is now attending university where she plans to design prosthetics in the future.While she continues to fight each day, she has a message for others: “never give up.”