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After deployment, 'searcher of bombs' returns with injuries but stands with conviction

By Jennifer Stagg | Posted - Sep. 11, 2011 at 10:44 p.m.



This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

Shortly after 9/11, our country headed to war. First Iraq, then Afghanistan. September 11th started a new life journey for many servicemen and women.

All gave some and some gave all. And I like to add to that that some are still giving. Master Sergeant Gordon Ewell knows about sacrifice.

"There's a war after the war. And those soldiers will battle that war for the rest of their life," he said.

He gave his heart, soul --his life to his country, and he got a different life in return. Gordy joined the army at 18. After the Twin Towers came crashing down, he left his family and headed for Iraq as an IED Hunter --a searcher of bombs. And he found plenty. But the bombs also found him --six times.

"You have this sensation of being inside a thunder cloud and the blinding light of a lightning strike."

"This is a piece of a bomb that blew me up. That little spark that went through that little wire and detonated that bomb changed my life forever," he said, describing the bomb.

Gordy's injuries were extensive. The most damage came from his traumatic brain injury.

"You don't know how to be injured. You don't want to be restricted. It's very difficult."

Also difficult for his wife, who suddenly became his caregiver.

"You always expect to come home whole and your spouse they think that too," he said.

Eventually the stress took its toll. The war had broken not only his body, but his marriage as well.

"What's hard about the anger is how to direct it. You're angry about being hurt. You're angry that you're broken or disabled, but you're not angry that you went and were a defender of freedom. All the anger in the world is not going to make me whole again."

Some things, Gordy said, are worth sacrificing for.

"Even had someone told me, "OK Gordy, you're going to get blown up multiple times, you're going to lose your sight, your hearing. You're not going to walk or drive or go to the bathroom or swallow, and this is going to be your plate,' I would still do it again. There's not an inch of soil in this country that's not worth fighting for and defending."

jstagg@ksl.com

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Jennifer Stagg

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