(NAPSI)—Staff Sgt. Giovanni Pascascio will always remember July 8, 2007. “You kinda remember the day you got blown up.”
During his second deployment to Iraq, a truck full of explosives detonated near his squad’s convoy. Pascascio sustained second- and third-degree burns over 30 percent of his body, shrapnel wounds to his head and face, and inhalation injuries from the fire. After nearly a month and a half, he woke up at Brooke Army Medical Center in Fort Sam Houston, Texas. After surgeries and rehabilitation, he was discharged to its Warrior Transition Battalion (WTB).
At the WTB, Pascascio developed a personalized Comprehensive Transition Plan with short- and long-term goals across six domains of life: physical, social, spiritual, emotional, family and career. He participated in adaptive reconditioning programs, including archery, which helped him recover mentally and physically.
“Archery was good because it’s about patience. You need to take your time, be smooth and steady,” Pascascio explained. “We had a really great coach, Skip Dawson, who was also a wounded vet. He knew how hard it was trying to recover from being hurt, and how to deal with emotional and psychological wounds.” Pascascio competed in regional and state archery competitions, winning gold in the 2009 Endeavor Games.
These accomplishments helped Pascascio understand that he had more to offer the Army. After a Physical Evaluation Board found him physically “unfit” for duty, Pascascio applied for Continuation on Active Duty (COAD) status, a program that allows soldiers meeting certain criteria to continue serving. He was assigned to the 7th Army Noncommissioned Officer Academy in Grafenwoehr, Germany to develop plans for accommodating wounded, ill and injured soldiers at the academy. He mentored many of them, relying heavily on his own recovery experience.
“I know what they’ve been through, and I was able to say I’ve been there. I’ve done that. These guys may not be able to do everything physically, but they can accomplish a lot,” Pascascio said.
Pascascio currently serves at the Army Wounded Warrior Program (AW2), supporting the Army’s most severely wounded, ill and injured soldiers, veterans and their families.
To learn more about the Army’s 29 Warrior Transition Units (WTU) and nine Community-Based WTUs and how they support wounded, ill and injured soldiers and their families, visit www.WTC.army.mil.
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