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Marine Corps Lance Corporal Jared Kauffroath

Marine Corps Lance Corporal Jared Kauffroath joined the military to gain new experiences, and because he wanted to serve with his best friend, who also enlisted.

Lance Corporal Kauffroath was near his command post at a forward operating base in Iraq when he heard loud explosions in late August of 2004. He initially thought it was an artillery shooting, but soon discovered it was an enemy mortar attack.

He ran for cover but a mortar shell struck near him, and the ensuing blast knocked him down and caused serious injuries, including the loss of feeling in his left leg. His injuries might have been worse had there not been a vehicle situated between Lance Corporal Kauffroath and the explosion.

Lance Corporal Kauffroath suffered severe shrapnel wounds in his left leg, as well as in his forehead, right leg, abdomen and left hand. He also suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and hearing loss.

For his service to his country, Lance Corporal Kauffroath was awarded the Purple Heart, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon and the Sharpshooter Rifle Qualification.

Lance Corporal Kauffroath, his wife Amanda and their son were gifted a mortgage-free home in Gilbert, Arizona.