SPRING HILL, Fla. (WFLA) – After serving in the Army for 15 years, U.S. Army Staff Sergeant John Borders was participating in a routine convoy in 2006 when his Humvee was hit by an I.E.D. (Improvised Explosive Device).
Sgt. Borders spent 3.5 years recovering in the hospital, including getting a prosthetic leg, before choosing to go back overseas to serve our country on active duty for a total of 27 years.
Now Sgt. Borders needs help from the Tampa Bay area community to build a handicapable home for him and his family.
After being attacked by terrorists in 2006, Sgt. Borders was taken to the ICU at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Maryland where he received surgeries every other day for months, undergoing a total of 55 surgeries.
Sgt. Borders currently lives in Spring Hill with his wife, Mollie, who is also an Army veteran and their two children, Brittany and Xander. Xander said he wants to follow in his father’s footsteps and also serve our country.
Sgt. Borders spoke with WFLA’s Christine McLarty and said he would not let terrorists decide when he was going to be done serving his country.
Borders said he stayed positive, working through years of physical therapy, first learning to walk on his prosthetic leg, and then run, ultimately returning to active duty as a Counterintelligence Special Agent where he served a total of 27 years in the army, 12 of which he served as a handicapable individual, completing his last tour in Afghanistan with his new leg.
In January 2018, Sgt. Borders retired with a title he worked his whole career to obtain, Sergeant First Class.
Following his time in the Army, Borders found a new way to serve others, redefining himself as a scuba instructor. He said he wants to do this to help other individuals who also have limited mobility learn to dive and find freedom from their pain and restrictions.
With hopes to move to a house closer to the water, Borders is also aiming to own his own boat and scuba shop someday. As he continues to pursue his new dreams, the Gary Sinise Foundation recently chose to help their family.
Mollie Borders told 8 On Your Side The Gary Sinise Foundation is offering to build a specially adapted smart home to ease Borders’ daily struggles and mobility needs around his current house which is not handicap accessible.
The Gary Sinise Foundation website states their mission is to “serve our nation by honoring our defenders, veterans, first responders, their families, and those in need”. It said they do this by creating and supporting unique programs designed to entertain, educate, inspire, strengthen, and build communities.
The Borders said the house is set to start being built by The Gary Sinise Foundation in 2021, and when the time gets closer they will be able to use supplies donations and help from local volunteers.
Right now, in the beginning stages of building and planning, the family said the best way to help is to partner with The Gary Sinise Foundation by giving monetary donations to their house building.
Click here to donate to help The Gary Sinise Foundation build the Borders new home in the Tampa Bay area.