It’s not easy to recover from some of the most severe army wounds. But that is exactly what Sam Cila – an American army veteran – did. And not only did he work hard on his tremendous recovery, he decided to inspire kids in his son Evan’s school with his tale as well.
After the attacks on 9/11, Cila joined the NY National Guard and was sent out to Iraq the following month with the 1st Battalion, 69th Infantry Regiment. Towards the end of his time there however, he was badly injured while on patrol outside the Green Zone, Baghdad, from an IED blast. His entire left side was blown out and it took him three years to fight – and win – the hardest battle of his life; the recovery. He worked extremely hard to guard against not having an amputation, that, at the time, seemed like the only option. He did however, ultimately loss his left arm from the elbow down but even that didn’t deter him.
He had a prosthetic hand and arm put in and then started working with Operation Rebound – an organization operated by the Challenged Athletes Foundation which “raises money to help people with physical disabilities pursue an active lifestyle through physical fitness and competitive athletics.”
Cila wanted to inspire the children in his son’s school at Aquebogue. He wanted them to know about all the new technologies and scientific developments available, showing them that even in the midst of apparent despair, there is always room for hope. As well, this Veteran’s Day he ran in the Riverfront24 endurance run, raising money for a local veteran’s services organization.