Justin Gaertner lost his legs in a 2010 explosion while serving as a Marine in the Afghanistan war. This is the inspiring story of his journey to find independence as he confronts life after war as an amputee. On the day after Thanksgiving, U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Justin Gaertner, 21, was patrolling for mines in the Marja district of Afghanistan when an improvised bomb, stuffed in a glass jug, exploded beneath his feet.
His legs were decimated. Shrapnel blasted into his abdomen and shredded his left arm.
He was flown to Washington, D.C., where he began what doctors said would be a long and daunting recovery.
Of the 46,000 American troops wounded in a decade of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, more than 1,200 have lost a limb. All of them face grueling treatments and uncertain futures as they return to life back home.
A graduate of Trinity’s Mitchell High School, Justin had always believed the Marines helped him grow up. But that bomb, in an instant, had reduced him to a child: diminished, dependent, unsure.
For him, adjusting to life without legs was about more than wanting to walk. How could he prove his strength to others, to himself? How could he, for a second time, grow into a man? On April 22nd, 2012 at Coachman Park in Clearwater Sun Toyota will be hosting our 4th annual Fun n Sun Toyota Country concert. It is there that we will kick off our " Help Sun Toyota Help Justin Campaign. Sun Toyota is raising money to donate a brand new 2012 Toyota Tundra CrewMax to Justin. Equiped with hand cotrols and step bars and everything he needs to continue his quest to start over. Please join Sun Toyota on the day that we give Justin his New 2012 Toyota Tundra Platinum Crewmax 4x4. We invite every person that has helped sponsor this exciting community event to be a part of our Memorial Day Salute to Justin. Memorial day 2012 is on Monday, May 28th, 2012. It is on Memorial Day at Sun Toyota that the New Tundra will be given to Justin Gaertner. The Florida Patriot Guard Riders will escort Justin from his home that morning in Trinity, Fl. and will run a POW/MIA formation to Sun Toyota located 3001 US HWY 19, Holiday, Fl. 34691. Upon arrival at Sun Toyota, Justin will be greeted by a carnival atmosphere. The whole dealership will be transformed into a display of military men and women, along with the public, saluting him. The Community event is all weekend long from friday the 25th of May and will run until May 28th (Memorial Day) 2012. On Memorial day, Wqyk and Sun Toyota will present the truck to Justin at 10 am (E.S.T.)
All donations immediately go towards covering the costs to give Justin Gaertner this brand New 2012 Toyota Tundra Crewmax Limited 4x4. He gave his leges to our country's freedom, because freedom is not free. Can you give $15, $50, $1,000?