In late 2008, Michael Vasquez was ordered to Afghanistan to serve as an infantry team leader. In July 2009, his convoy came under attack. His vehicle was hit by rocket-propelled grenades and small arms fire, injuring him and several others in the vehicle. He was wounded during his service in Afghanistan, leaving him in a wheelchair with a brain injury. “I was just doing my job just like anybody else,” Michael said. “Unfortunately, I got hurt.”
But Michael did not let that stop him. Vasquez has been confined to a wheelchair as a result of his injuries, but has overcome much of the adversity by a determined attitude. He keeps a service dog for convenience, and competes in the hand-cycle divisions of marathons for sport, including the Detroit Marathon and the Marines Corp Marathon. He will compete in the New York Marathon in November 2018.
“The first couple of years were kind of dark,” Michael said, “but then it started improving – just having a sense of purpose, of doing something.” Michael caught the eye of the Lubbock Homes for Heroes because he didn’t let anything drag him down. “He’s one of the people who, despite all the adversities, and despite all the challenges, has always kept his chin up,” Colonel Dave Lewis said.
Michael has a wife and three children who will all be moving into their new home once it’s built. The new house will be located in the Preston Manor Development North of Wolfforth.