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U.S. Army Sergeant Howard Appleby of Cape Coral, Fla., joined the military in 2004 as a combat engineer initially stationed in Ft. Irwin, California.
One month after basic training, Appleby deployed to Iraq, and was responsible for conducting route reconnaissance, clearance and security operations during the height of the Improvised Explosive Device (IED) threat. He experienced his first IED blast in August of 2004, which struck his vehicle during a mission. Appleby sustained a back injury and returned to Fort Irwin, Calif., where he furthered his combat training. In 2007, he was redeployed to Iraq and continued route-clearance missions. During this deployment, he encountered several IED blasts, the worst striking his vehicle. Appleby was transferred to a Warrior Transition Unit, where he completed lengthy medical treatment and counseling.
After multiple encounters with IEDs, Appleby was diagnosed with cognitive impairment following traumatic brain injury, PTSD, myofascial pain syndrome and migraines. For his service, Appleby received several awards including three Army Commendation Medals, two Army Achievement Medals, two Army Good Conduct Medals, a Combat Action Badge, and many more.
Appleby was honorably discharged in 2011 and now resides in Cape Coral, Florida with his family who live by the motto “life is not a race – but indeed a journey.”
Operation FINALLY HOME along with PulteGroup’s Built to Honor™ program are honored to provide Howard Appleby and his family with a custom-built, mortgage-free home in Babcock Ranch near Ft. Myers, Florida.