Corporal (Ret.) Paul Gardner, USMC was left paralyzed from the waist down after a bullet severed his spinal cord during a firefight in Iraq. Gardner was wounded during the initial 2003 invasion of Iraq when his platoon was engaged in a firefight with more than 100 Fedayeen Fighters in the Baghdad suburb of Al Tarymiah. While reloading his rifle, an enemy fighter took advantage of the situation and fired off a burst with his AK47 assault rifle, with one of the bullets entering just under Gardner’s left armpit. The bullet destroyed his spleen, collapsed his left lung and completely severed his spinal cord, instantly and permanently leaving him paralyzed from the waist down, yet Gardner’s re-telling of the story leaves the entire group laughing and crying.
Reach out and text someone you served with, social connection saves lives.
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