Nick Orchowski Hero Story
When members of his unit were ambushed after an ammo pickup, 20-year-old Nicholas Orchowski, a gunner in the lead vehicle, was thrown from the gunners’ hatch when his vehicle exploded.
“I was thrown hard to the ground and fractured my spinal cord in four places,” Nick recalls. He sustained spinal cord injuries at the C-1, 4, 5, 6 levels, resulting in paralysis on his right side, or incomplete quadriplegia.
Nick, who had signed up for the Army shortly after 9/11, says he’s very proud of his service for his country, during which he received several Expert Marksmanship Badges. “I’d still be with my unit today if it wasn’t for my injury.”
After his injury, Nick was transferred to the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC, for continued recovery and rehabilitation. “When I woke up in the States, I was sure glad to see my family, and I was just as glad to see there was a national service officer from the Paralyzed Veterans of America.”
Because of Paralyzed Veterans, Nick was able concentrate on his rehabilitation. “I could not have done it without the support of Paralyzed Veterans,” Nick says. “Paralyzed Veterans managed everything to make sure I got all my medical and rehab benefits. They knew what to do so I could concentrate on coming home.”
Nick resides outside of Denver, Colorado, with his wife, Jamie, and their two children.