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U.S. Army Corporal Michael Vasquez, from Lubbock, Texas, had dreams in high school of one day becoming a doctor. Then, September 11, 2001 drastically changed his future and his dream transitioned to serving in the military and helping fight the Global War on Terrorism. He finished high school early and enlisted in the U.S. Army in November 2005.
Vasquez deployed to Iran and Afghanistan between 2007 and 2010. He has various responsibilities including infantryman team leader and intelligence exploitation expert. In 2009 while on a routine intelligence mission patrol, their convoy came under attack and Vasquez’s vehicle was hit with Rocket Propelled Grenades. This and small-arms fire severely injured him, and he suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury, Chiari malformation, spinal contusion, minor shrapnel, abdominal wounds, partial blindness, left side paralysis and other smaller injuries. Vasquez is wheelchair bound as a paraplegic from the waist down but that doesn’t stop him.
Vasquez was honored with several military awards including the Bronze Star with Valor, Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal with one oak cluster and many more.
Post Army, Vasquez earned a Bachelor’s in Applied Sciences from Wayland Baptist University and is now attending Texas Tech University. He enjoys spending time with family, woodworking, exercising, riding and competing on his hand-cycle, and he aspires to continue helping wounded veterans that are in similar situations. In 2017, Vasquez competed in the Detroit Free Press Marathon, Marine Corps Marathon in D.C., and the New York TCS Marathon – and continues to train.
Operation FINALLY HOME and the West Texas Builders Association are thrilled to provide the Vasquez family with a custom-built, mortgage-free home in Lubbock, Texas in 2018.