Together, we can provide military members like Stephen support, respite, and resources while undergoing surgery and rehabilitation.
On July 1, 2011, US Army Specialist Stephen Peterson was conducting route clearance in a Buffalo (mine protected vehicle) with his team in Ghazni, Afghanistan when they drove over an IED. The blast detonated right under his seat, traveling through his knee and immediately taking off his right leg, breaking both hips, his tailbone and causing TBI.
Once help arrived, he was pulled out of the vehicle and transported by medevac to Landstuhl, Germany. From there, Stephen was medevac’d to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for treatment. Unfortunately, part of his leg and had to be amputated above the knee. Stephen’s injuries were further complicated by an open wound that would not close, which prevented him from walking and being able to wear his prosthetic leg for an entire year.
Since his injury nearly a decade ago, Stephen’s wife Brittany has been by his side through his recovery. This day-to-day commitment has included making sure he is mentally and physically okay, managing medical appointments, and helping him with his daily activities.
Just last year, Brittany heard about Yellow Ribbon Fund’s Keystone Chapter in the Tampa, Florida area, close to where they lived. Not only did she find support and respite through the Keystone program with other military caregivers, but she also learned about the Crossroads program, which offers long term housing during medical treatment at WRNMMC. The timing of this news was ironic, as Stephen was undergoing a study for Osseointegration.
A short time later, they were able to temporarily relocate from Florida and move into a fully-furnished YRF apartment close to WRNMMC, where Stephen was able to continue the Osseointegration procedure – a lengthy process involving two surgeries, physical therapy and occupational therapy.
According to Brittany “There is no way we would have been able to afford to have this without Yellow Ribbon Fund’s support. The military pays for the surgery and recovery, but not housing during treatment and rehabilitation.”
Stephen continues to make progress, however, in the midst of an already challenging medical process, COVID-19 emerged and required Stephen and Brittany to quarantine in the YRF apartment. As with other YRF recipients in a similar situation, Yellow Ribbon Fund made sure their apartment was Stephen continues to make progress, however, in the midst of an already challenging medical process, COVID-19 emerged and required Stephen and Brittany to quarantine in the YRF apartment. As with other Yellow Ribbon Fund recipients in a similar situation, Yellow Ribbon Fund made sure their apartment was fully stocked with household necessities and food until it was safe to leave the apartment.