ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ)—There are estimates that over 36,000 U.S. soldiers were seriously injured in Iraq and Afghanistan. And now, the owner of a popular Annapolis restaurant has started a group to help them.
Mike Schuh has the story.
In Iraq, Sgt. Luis Rosa led from the front.
“One of my best qualities was cool under fire, not panicking, but turning fear into action,” Rosa said.
Four years ago during a firefight in Baghdad, Rosa’s buddy is shot. He gets him to a medic, and then an IED gets Rosa.
Spending time with Rosa, his attitude makes you forget he’s a triple amputee.
“People are going to see you the way you see yourself, and if you exude confidence, that’s what they’re going to see. They’re not going to see the wheelchair. They’re going to see a confident individual. I mean I had to win over my fiancée somehow, right?” Rosa said with a laugh.
He and his kids Meli and Bella from a previous marriage share their donated house. But his soon-to-be wife is pregnant, and her two boys will soon move in with them.
“Me having my two daughters and a fifth on the way, I’m definitely going to need more rooms,” Rosa said.
Three rooms and an elevator are planned for the basement, but Rosa can’t get a construction loan. So, restaurateur Ted Levitt’s foundation Faces of Valor USA organized a construction crew.
The project is going to be expensive.
“Yes, probably between $70,000 and 100,000,” Levitt said. “These guys stepped up to the bat like you’d thought Luis was their son.”
So despite what’s happened, Rosa is a thankful man.
“Any small comfort I can find makes a huge, huge impact on my life,” Rosa said. “I can’t say thank you enough. That’s the problem.”
The fundraiser this Saturday begins with a motorcycle ride at the Outback in Annapolis and ends at a car show and picnic at the Annapolis Knights of Columbus Hall. Click here for more information.