Panama City Beach - On June 29th, 2012 Sgt. Carter Hess was injured while serving on his second deployment to Afghanistan. Hess lost his left leg below the knee when an IED exploded in an area south of Khandahar. Now he's helping other combat wounded soldiers with a benefit 5k on the 1 year anniversary of his Alive Day. The "Haul of Heroes" will benefit 3 non-profit organizations that helped Carter and his family during his journey of healing over the past year.
Sgt. Carter Hess was a paratrooper with 82nd Airborne Division when he was injured by an IED explosion on June 29th, 2012. "We started off late in the afternoon that day on our border check. We were on our way back in whenever I was hit." That day will forever be his Alive Day. "It's a second shot at life, a lot of guys celebrate their Alive Day more so than their birthday," said Carter.
After surgeries and therapy at Walter Reed Medical Center in Maryland, Carter is walking again, and doing so much more than that. He's hosting the "Haul of Heroes" benefit 5k on the one year anniversary of his Alive Day, to raise money for 3 organizations that helped him and other combat wounded soldiers. One of them is familiar to all of us, its the local Warrior Beach Retreat founded by the Cope family. "They give them a relaxing week with their families to fish and play golf and stuff that they may not have gotten to do otherwise," explained Carter.
The Fisher House Foundation is another beneficiary that provides airfare and a home for military families while their loved one is hospitalized.
Carter's love for dogs inspired the third one: Canines for Warriors. "They take dogs out of the pounds and rehabilitation centers and certifies them as service dogs, then dispurses them to warriors. It's another direct impact program for the combat community.
The "Haul of Heroes" is also a celebration. "Just to see from not being able to get out of bed in the morning to actually running and doing all the things I've been able to do in the past year, I'm proud of my progress," said Carter.
There is still plenty of time to sign up! The 5k Run/Walk and 1 mile Fun Run is Saturday the 29th at the Bay County Courthouse in Panama City. We've provided a link for more information.