Andrew Pike Hero Story
Andrew Pike knew what he wanted to do after high school: serve his country. So he enlisted in the Army immediately after graduation. Soon after, he was a U.S. Army Specialist with the 82nd Airborne Division and was deployed to Iraq.
He had been in Iraq only eight months into his first tour when one day, during a routine patrol in Baji, a sniper’s bullet pierced his abdomen, kidney and part of his intestines, and caused spinal cord damage at the 10th thoracic vertebra. Andrew was instantly paralyzed; he was only 19 years old.
While recovering from his injuries at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, two important events occurred. Andrew received a Purple Heart, presented by Sen. Larry Craig. And he was introduced to the Paralyzed Veterans of America when a national service officer began helping him obtain his VA benefits.
Getting those benefits as soon as possible was of utmost importance. After being injured, Andrew had received some good news: his wife was pregnant. Recuperating faster than expected, he wanted to build a wheelchair accessible house for his family. “My first contact with Paralyzed Veterans was in Walter Reed,” Andrew said. “Paralyzed Veterans helped me apply for grants for special adaptive housing and vocational rehabilitation.”
Thanks to Paralyzed Veterans of America’s help, as well as friends, family and the community, Andrew and his family now have an accessible home, which allows Andrew’s wheelchair access to every room, including access to his baby daughter’s room.