HOUSTON – Improving the lives of our local heroes is the mission of so many Americans, and particularly an intentional effort made on Veterans Day.
Houston-based organization Combined Arms helps active military members transition to life as veterans every day of the year.
Retired U.S. Army Sergeant Earl Lundy is now part of the organization that helped pick him up when he needed it most.
Lundy followed in his father’s and grandfather’s footsteps, making him a third-generation paratrooper.
Lundy’s time in the U.S. Army was forever changed on March 3, 2008.
“A white light out of nowhere, the next thing I knew when I came to I was in pitch black darkness... can’t move, not knowing exactly where I am or what is going on. Am I dead? Is this a nightmare?” explained Lundy.
Lundy was buried under five feet of rubble. He was hit by a car bomb.
“I was trapped down there for five hours before my team was finally able to pull me out. I was told the Humvee was on top of me as well and a beam was across my leg, crushing my leg. That moment broke me down, but it didn’t break me. It definitely made me the man I am today and how I approach life. Physically, I had the left leg nerve damage, I still have drop foot. I still have nerve damage in my shoulder, TBI. L4 and L5 injury,” Lundy said.
Doctors’ prognosis was Lundy would not be able to walk again. As you might imagine, this was not good enough for Lundy.
“Telling myself I am a warrior, I am not going to quit and accept defeat. These are things within me and I exercise in my heart,” he said.
Lundy medically retired in 2010. Taking baby steps, he walked into his new world as a veteran, looking for direction.
“As veterans transition out of the military, sometimes that can be a hassle. They don’t know where to start, to look. They are starting a new career, a new look on life and want to get connected with resources and organizations,” Lundy explained.
There to help Lundy was wounded warrior project and a Houston-based non-profit Combined Arms. Once a client, Lundy is now a community outreach coordinator and gym manager for Combined Arms.
“We offer educational benefits, entrepreneurship services, homeless assistance, financial assistance, legal if you’re trying to get back into school. We have organizations geared to help you walk that path,” explained Lundy. “Yes, exactly, I found a purpose all over again, I am still, I am not worthless, I can still be productive.”
Combined Arms is made up of 190 non-profits. The organization streamlines resources for veterans and their families from all branches of the military.