A wounded veteran received some uplifting words from the community Wednesday as volunteers left what they call “notes of love” on the walls of the house they’re working to build him.
“We recognize the sacrifice the men and women make when they sign their name on that sheet of paper,” said Senator Charles Perry. “They have to be willing to lay down their lives, and some are maimed for life, none of them come back unchanged.”
This includes Army Corporal Michael Vasquez, whose life changed after he was deployed. In 2008, he was sent to Afghanistan, where he was injured from the waist down after a grenade was thrown at his car. Vasquez said accepting the fact that he would never walk again was difficult.
“It was a really dark day,” said Vasquez. “I was drinking and doing things I shouldn’t. It just brought me down to a spot that I didn’t want to be in.”
However, he didn’t let that keep him down. Vasquez started participating in hand-cycle races and speaking on behalf of other wounded veterans. For better or worse, he said, he’s grateful about the opportunities he’s been given because of his injuries.
“It was actually a blessing in disguise,” said Vasquez. “Because I was hurt I was able to do things like go on tips, meet other vets, and have experiences that I would never have had if I wasn’t injured.”
To thank him for his service and his unwavering determination, Lubbock Homes for Heroes and West Texas Home Builders built a new, mortgage-free home for him.
“To everyone who made this possible, thank you,” said Vasquez. “I can’t say it enough. It means the world to both me and my family.”
If you want to get involved with the Vasquez family, or help any other veterans, Lubbock Homes for Heroes is always looking for volunteers and can be reached on their website here.