Brian joined the United States Marine Corps in May of 2007. On April 11, 2011 Brian was on routine foot patrol in Kajaki, Helmand Province, Afghanistan with his bomb dog, Buckshot. While jumping over an irrigation ditch, Brian activated an IED pressure plate causing an explosion that would lead to the amputation of both of his legs leaving him wheelchair bound. However, that does not stop Brian from anything! He truly has the Spirit of a Hero!
In August 2013 Brian retired from the Marine Corps. Brian wasn’t always the guy he is today. Brian struggled with drug abuse to cope with the demons and the pain. One day, he decided no more and changed his life! Now Brian is active in the veteran community and those who know him can’t help but love his enthusiasm and love for life. We are honored to call Cpl Brian Aft our 2017 Spirit of a Hero Recipient!
Brian’s story in his words:
“I'm Cpl Brian Aft USMC. I enlisted and went to boot camp May 7 2007. I was stationed with 1st Battalion 10th Marines, 2nd marine division at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, My unit deployed to Helmand Province, Afghanistan in November of 2010. During the work up for deployment I was among a group of marines that attended IED Detector Dog school in South Carolina. Two weeks prior to changing over with our replacement unit we were conducting a foot patrol in the green zone of the Kajaki dam in Helmand province. While jumping across an irrigation ditch I triggered an IED which severed both legs above the knee. My fellow marines and corpsman immediately began treating my wounds and calling for a medevac. Between and hour and hour and a half later a British helicopter picked me up and brought me to the trauma center at Camp Bastion. From there I was brought to Germany and then Bethesda, Maryland. I spent two years and some change in recovery and medically retired in august of 2013. Things were rough at first but with support from friends and family things greatly improved. I have a fantastic group of friends and a wonderful woman that loves me for some reason.”