Army 1st Sgt. and Gilbert resident Cory Remsburg will soon have a new home to continue his rehabilitation from a near-fatal combat injury thanks to the efforts of a conglomeration of veteran organizations.
Army Ranger Lead the Way Fund, Ride 439 and Jared Allen’s Homes for Wounded Warriors have purchased a house for Remsburg and will remodel it to fit his rehabilitation needs.
“For us, it’s another milestone for Cory. When he got hurt, we always thought he’d keep improving, keep progressing,” said Remsburg’s father, Craig.
Remsburg was injured almost five years ago after his platoon hit a roadside bomb in Kandahar, Afghanistan, and he was found facedown in a pool of water.
“They did not think he was going to live,” said Remsburg’s stepmother and caretaker, Annie. She added the family was flown overseas to see him, which is usually an indicator of a low chance of survival.
Remsburg spent three months in a coma and has undergone many surgeries in the years that followed, but he made it through and continues to cope with injuries suffered during the incident, among them blindness in his right eye and partial paralysis on the left side of his body. Craig said his son has made and continues to make significant progress in the rehabilitation process, which includes visits to the Carrick Brain Centers in Texas for testing and evaluation.
Remsburg has gained renown over the past year, most notably from President Obama’s State of the Union address in January. During the speech, Obama cited Remsburg specifically and said, “like the Army he loves, like the America he serves, SFC Cory Remsburg never gives up, and he does not quit.”
The event also showcased one of Remsburg’s calling cards, the simple thumbs-up. He repeated that motion often during the groundbreaking of what will be his new Gilbert home.
The plan is to tear down the house and rebuild it to Remsburg’s specifications. Some of the requirements are practical, for example, the gym where he can continue his daily rehabilitation — 6 a.m. every day — an automated home control system and a wheel-in pool. Other features are a little more fun, like the mini waterfall Craig said will sit at the end of the pool and the bamboo tiki bar located not too far away from the pool.
Also encompassed in the plans is a guest house to host a caretaker for Remsburg. That space is a necessity for Remsburg, but the purpose of keeping it unattached to the rest of the home is to provide what Craig described as quasi-independence.
It’s a process that incorporates the training of his service dog Leo — he’s a Dutch shepherd donated by Remsburg’s sister — and many brain and body examinations. Annie said Remsburg wants to regain the ability to walk on his own — he moved about while leaning on a friend during the home event — and to attain full independence.
“It’s a whole new chapter in his life; it leads him to his biggest goal,” she said.
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