Cpl. Paul Skarinka was eight months into his first tour of duty with the U.S. Army when his unit came under enemy fire while on a mission in Sadr City just outside of Baghdad on September 13, 2004.
Cpl. Skarinka suffered a severed artery and serious damage to his left arm and leg in a rocket-propelled grenade explosion. He was transported from Iraq to Germany and then to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington where he underwent 22 surgeries. The rehabilitation process has been long, and included amputation of his left leg below the knee and partial amputation of his left arm, as well as TBI and PTSD.
Now living with his wife and two children in the Bridgewater, Mass. area, Cpl. Skarinka continues to serve in his community, obtaining his EMT/Paramedic license to assist with the Plympton Fire Department and Brewster Ambulance Service. Still, his battle injuries remain a daily issue. Though he and his wife own their home, it is not handicap accessible or conducive to his needs as a recent amputee. There are many stairs and the home is not suitable for wheelchair use. The only shower, which is not handicap accessible, is also located upstairs. A handicap accessible home tailored to his injuries will make a significant difference in his life.