Trucking is one of the most dangerous jobs in the military: Terrorists consistently target convoys as they move troops and supplies. Unfortunately, Keith Sekora learned first hand about this danger– he was severely wounded, while loading a Soviet munition into a truck, leaving him disabled for life.
“Keith joined the Army in 1989 and served for 10 years. His experiences included Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm; deployments to Panama and Honduras; and relief efforts to help victims of Hurricane Andrew,’ according to Wounded Warrior Project.
Keith loves to teach and after 9/11 he put that passion to work: He reenlisted with the Air Force, where he taught airmen about combat.
“But it still wasn’t enough for Keith, so he joined the ordnance disposal unit and deployed to Afghanistan. He grew proficient at disarming bombs and dismantling mine fields, which attracted the attention of the enemy.”
He was loading a large munition into the back of his truck, when he was attacked: Keith survived, but his injury caused him to suffer 4 strokes and 18 mini-strokes, which left him paralyzed.
“I went through two months of woe is me. But I thought, ‘If I give up then they win’,” he told the organization Homes for Heroes.
Sekora refused to let his injuries prevent him from hitting his target. He worked very hard to teach himself a new sport: archery, eventually rising to participate as a paralympic archer.
Sekora’s dedication and hard work paid off, and he was selected to compete in the Paralympic Games. Although Sekora could no longer serve his country in the military, as a Paralympian, he represented the United States with pride and determination, showcasing his abilities and his indomitable spirit to the world.
However, Sekora faced another obstacle when he returned home: Keith suffers from injury-induced-vertigo, and he cannot feel temperature. His injuries also made it difficult for him to move around in his own home, making daily tasks challenging and putting a strain on his independence. He remembers, “I felt like a burden… I don’t remember 70-80 percent of the day.” But this is where Homes for Heroes stepped in.
Homes for Heroes
Homes for Heroes is a non-profit organization that provides custom homes to wounded veterans, allowing them to live their lives with dignity and ease.
The organization recognized Sekora’s sacrifices and the challenges he faced and decided to build him a custom home. The home was designed with Sekora’s specific needs in mind, taking into consideration his mobility issues and ensuring that he could move around freely.
The custom home has changed Sekora’s life for the better. He no longer struggles with everyday tasks, and his independence has been restored. He is grateful for the support he received from Homes for Heroes and feels proud to have been given such a valuable gift.
Still a Teacher
And Keith has been able to put his love of teaching back to work. He spends he free time teaching archery to other wounded warriors, making sure they can find the same sense of purpose and belonging that he has.
But he says that, “My number one goal is to be the best dad I can be,” says Keith. “With the support of my friends and family, I see no limits to what I can accomplish.”