“My name is Jordan Folmar. I was born and raised in the Dallas area and graduated from Rowlett High School in 2007. Fulfilling my parent’s wishes to attend college, I enrolled at Stephen F. Austin State University as a Criminal Justice major. Yet, my own longing to join the military, which had been steadily growing since childhood, became too great to ignore. My family is incredibly patriotic with a long line of military service. Among hunting, fishing, and camping with family, my favorite childhood memories included watching the history and military channels with my father. So, following my older brothers footsteps, who enlisted in 2007, I proudly joined the United States Army in January 2009.
In the first of many proud milestones, my parents watched as I swore in and left for basic training January 7, 2009. Graduating from AIT in April as a PFC, my next endeavor was Airborne school. I was eventually attached to the 82nd Airborne at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and my brigade was preparing to deploy. Less than nine months after enlisting in the military, I deployed for 12 months to Afghanistan. During that one, long year, I grew tremendously both professionally as a soldier, and personally as a friend, brother and son. After returning from deployment, our unit immediately began training hard for our next deployment. More dedicated than ever to the commitment I made to my country, I worked tirelessly every day. I earned the respected privilege of becoming a team leader, and was promoted to SPC. Seventeen months later, in February 2012, I deployed again to Afghanistan as a squad leader. In one of the proudest moments of my life, I was promoted to SGT in June 2012. With a sense of renewed dedication, I continued to work hard with the honor of leading and gaining strength from a group of tremendous soldiers.
On July 6, 2012, while on dismounted patrol, I stepped on an improvised explosive device, or IED, while clearing a building known for producing and storing these deadly weapons. The blast resulted in amputation of both legs above the knees. I underwent several surgeries while in Afghanistan, and later in Germany, where I spent seven days in and out of the ICU. Once stable, I was transported to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, where I currently live with my mother.
In the blink of an eye, my daily routine morphed from performing the duties of my beloved role as an infantry soldier into a rigorous, challenging schedule of rehabilitation and physical therapy. When questioned about my motivation to push forward and my ultimate goal, people appear surprised by the simplicity of the answer. All I want is to have a normal life, doing the things I love with the people I love. I want to hunt and fish and camp again. I want to go back to school, earn a degree, and embark on a new career. I want to propose to, and begin a new life with the woman I love. All I want is to live simply and be happy. Every day is a gift, and I intend to cherish every moment, both large and small.”