Sergeant (Retired) Ricardo J. Perez
Sergeant (Retired) Ricardo J. Perez is a Purple Heart Recipient and an advocate for wounded veterans. Ricardo knows first-hand the challenges that follow after severe wounds and disabilities. In November 2011, while on combat patrol in Kandahar, Afghanistan, Ricardo was severely wounded when he stepped on an Improvised Explosive Device (IED). As a result of this event Ricardo suffered an amputation below the knee of his left leg, a broken pelvis, a traumatic brain injury (TBI) and his right leg was severely burned. Doctors had to induced a coma for a month because Ricardo’s brain was swollen. Later on, SGT (Ret.) Perez’ left leg had to be further amputated above the knee due to recurring infections. His decided to have the right leg, which was a limb salvage, to have it removed after two ankle fusions. After being wounded, Ricardo underwent extensive rehabilitation and 111 surgeries. SGT (Ret.) Perez attributes his strength, motivation, and success in rehab to his wife (also a Veteran) and children; his family supported him every step of his recovery. Ricardo’s positive attitude and dedication to his rehabilitation resulted in him being fully independent. He continues to be of example and inspiration for others. SGT(Ret.) Perez competes in various adaptive sports, to include sled hockey, biking, kayaking, hunting, and fishing; in addition, Ricardo has skydived without legs. Today, Ricardo is dedicated in helping those coming behind. He is committed to live the Army Values and in helping others with severe disabilities achieve success in life. He believes in leaving no-one with a disability behind.