The five year anniversary of the War in Iraq is only days away, but for one eastern Kentucky man, it only took two months for him to come close to losing his life while serving overseas.
Despite his injuries, the Knott County native says he would do it all over again.
Travis Fugate was 21 years old when he was serving in Iraq with the Army National Guard in 2005. He had hopes to one day work as a computer programmer.
“I had talked to my sister and my dad on the telephone that morning, right before the mission,” Travis Fugate said.
In his last mission working as military police Fugate and his men were only 4 miles from base when a road side bomb exploded.
“No one else was injured because I was on the turret, my head was sticking out of the top of the Humvee,” Fugate said.
Fugate spent the next 3 weeks in a coma.
But being a soldier, Travis fought again and yhis time through his injuries.
Travis suffered brain damage, lost one eye, and was blind in his remaining eye.
“I remember requesting my flashlight a lot, because I thought if I just had that flashlight it might help me see because it was so dark,” Fugate said.
Travis regained some of his sight and says being legally blind does not slow him down.
He says he believes everything happens for a reason.
Now he is 24 years old, his goal is to work in psychology and help others deal with tragedy.
“I believe that my life will be more fulfilled than it would have been before,” Fugate said.
Fugate says the fifth anniversary of the war makes him hope for a peaceful resolution one day ... so people won't forget the sacrifice of the men and women serving.