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U.S. Army Spc. Michael Crawford joined the Army in August 2009, during his sophomore year of high school, as a Military Policeman (MP). Upon enlisting, he attended basic training at Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri and received his first orders to Camp Walker in Daegu, South Korea after his initial training. One year later, he was transferred to Ft. Hood, Texas for another year before volunteering for deployment.
On December 3, 2011, Crawford deployed as part of the Command Personal Security Detail (PSD) to Combat Outpost Justice in Gardez, Afghanistan. On December 27, only fourteen days after arriving in Afghanistan, he was severely injured by a large improvised explosive device (IED) that hit the truck he was riding in, which was accompanied by five other soldiers. Three soldiers were killed while the other three, including Crawford, were severely injured. As a result of the explosion, Crawford’s injuries included loss of use of his bilateral lower extremities due to neuropathic pain, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI) and more.
Crawford was discharged from active duty due to his injuries and remained at Fort Sam Houston’s Warrior Transition Battalion until March 27, 2014, when he was medically retired with a disability rating of 100 percent. During his time in service he received several awards, including a Purple Heart and a Good Conduct Medal.