Matthew Zajac - Sergeant - US Army
Shortly after graduating High School in New Mexico in 2005, Matthew joined the Army and was later deployed to Iraq in 2006.
While in battle on May 3rd, 2007, Matt's unit was hit by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED). Matt was severely injured, eventually losing his right leg at the hip, his left leg at the knee, and suffering multiple other injuries, including being severely burned. He was flown to Ft. Sam Houston (in San Antonio, Texas) where he spent over a year receiving multiple surgeries and physical therapy. He was fitted with prosthetics and eventually became independent.
During his year long recovery Matt's father never left his side. Matt and his father received assistance from the Fisher House Foundation (FHF), a network of comfort homes where military and veterans’ families can stay at no cost while a wounded veteran is receiving treatment. The organization helped both Matt and his father by supplying housing and back up care during Matt's long recovery. After being released from the hospital Matt became a speaker for FHF.
Matt later went on to study Mechanical Engineering at New Mexico State University. In 2013 while away at school, Matt's father passed away, and he began caring for his grandmother. A short time later she passed away as well. Matt had been fighting the affects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) throughout his recovery, but after losing the only family he had, it became too much for him to handle. He was in a downward spiral, and his condition worsened.
With the help and support of "We Are the 22 (WAT22)", an organization dedicated to combatting Veteran Suicide, Matt recently completed a PTSD treatment program and now plans on telling his story and accomplishments to fellow veterans in need and that there is life after all the tragedy.
We welcome Matthew to the VCR ride and program as a sidecar passenger and plan to give him the ride and experience of a lifetime!