Thursday, April 12, 2007

A Face of Freedom ~ Army SPC Max Ramsey

Spc. Max Ramsey, who lost his left leg in Iraq in March 2006, prepares for his first jump as a member of the Screaming Eagles Parachute Demonstration Team at Fort Campbell, Ky., March 13.
Photos by Kelli Bland

Spc. Max Ramsey puts on his jump boots in preparation for his first jump
as a member of the Screaming Eagles Parachute Demonstration Team


Spc. Max Ramsey makes a practice jump
as member of the Screaming Eagles Parachute Demonstration Team

Spc. Max Ramsey carries his parachute after a practice jump
as member of the Screaming Eagles Parachute Demonstration Team


Meet SPC Max Ramsey. At 37, he is a member of the Screaming Eagles Parachute Demonstration Team. He is also the first member who is an amputee. No stranger to parachuting, he had done more than 350 dives since 2001.

SPC Ramsey lost his left leg in Iraq in March 2006. He had planned to join the team when he returned from Iraq and he wasn't going to let his prostetic leg get in his way!

Ramsey joined the Army as an infantryman in mid-2004, requesting a station somewhere in the 18th Airborne Corps so he could go to Iraq. After Thanksgiving 2005, he deployed with Company C, 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division.

March 1, 2006, while manning the turret on a Humvee, an IED exploded beneath it, lifting the vehicle off of the ground and sending Ramsey flying. The blast cut through Ramsey's left knee and broke his right ankle. "Once I saw the wound, I knew I was going to lose a leg," Ramsey said. Also injured in the blast was SPC Gary Duckett

Although this was not part of his life plan, "it became the plan, regardless, so I immediately got myself into the mode of making sure I could step out of this whole thing and conquer the disability the best I could," said Ramsey.

Duckett and Ramsey were together on the transports to Baghdad, Balad and Landstuhl, making jokes along the way.

Five days after the explosion, SPC Ramsey arrived at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. "My wife was very upset, but I said, 'Listen, I am going to walk again; I am going to run again. You and I will return home and I will be on two feet.'"

Ramsey was fitted with his prosthetic leg in April. "You get momentum," he said. "You get used to waling forward, so you keep walking forward." After a year at Walter Reed, Ramsey was ready to return to Fort Campbell and his team.

Command Sgt. Major Frank Grippe, 101st Airborne Division, said, "He is the type of warrior all Americans are proud of and our enemies are terrified of."

Ramsey has 15 jumps and is mastering the technique with his new leg. He plans to vcomplete 121 more jumps to reach his goal of 500 - the next level in the US Parachute Association rating system.

"Max coming here is good for the team," said Staff Sgt Dewey Vinaya, parachute team leader. "When the newer guys start getting aches and pains, they look at Max and he says, 'If I can overcome it, you can overcome it.'"

From a story by Kelli Bland, Editor for the Fort Campbell Courier.

SPC Max Ramsey - you are an inspiration to all of us!

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

This story was also on Fox News within the past 2 days.
Great story.
Great Soldier
Great American.

COL Mark McDonald
Ft. Campbell, KY

Flag Gazer said...

I had read the story and them saw the piece FoxNews did - and did well! - knew it had to be shared.

daydreamtime said...

He was in my husband's platoon, he's always had an amazing attitude. He improves the lives of all who know him.

Flag Gazer said...

Thank you for sharing that - reading the story made me smile!

Melissa Riley~Prudential CT Realty said...

Max Ramsey is the brother of one of our very loved real estate agents, Dana Ramsey. Max came to one of our sales meetings in Fairfield, CT. He was incredible, modest and had a terrific sense of humor. He has touched so many lives of other soldiers and will continue to be a source of inspiration for us.