Soldier Loses Both Legs, Returns Home Two Years Later
CLARKSVILLE, Tenn.- Two years after an IED explosion nearly claimed his
life, a Clarksville soldier finally came back home. But, his recovery and rehab
is far from over.
Scott Schroeder knows he was minutes from death in Afghanistan, which is why
he's not letting 35 surgeries and the loss of both legs overpower his will to
move on. His arrival back to Clarksville on Sunday was made a little easier by
the support of his community and family.
"We all kind of talked about this for a long time," said Joanna
Brown, Schroeder's neighbor and friend.
It was a welcome home party two years
in the making.
"Of course we thought it would be sooner. It was kind of put off for a
year thinking about it," said his friend John Alberstadt.
But these neighbors and friends never gave up on this day: when Special
Operations Officer Scott Schroeder would return home to Clarksville, alive.
"He knows he's got a lot of love but I don't think he knows, has any
idea how any people have been praying for him and his return," said Brown.
Sunday, Schroeder drove himself to his hero's homecoming, proudly showing
off just how far he's come.
"This is amazing, isn't it? For all these people to turn out, boy it's
truly amazing. Talk about being humble," said Schroeder.
Hero's usually are.
"As far as inspiration goes, I don't think you can get any more
inspirational," said his 17-year-old son, Zach.
Even though his dad is technically two inches shorter on his new legs, he says
he stands taller than ever before.
"It's never an easy thing to lose your legs. I mean you can't expect
someone to deal with that perfectly, but he's moved on. He's been pretty
optimistic, actually," said Schroeder.
After just a year of rehab at Walter Reed Schroeder managed to scuba dive in
Key West, refusing to let his injury define his limits.
"A lot of things I have to learn how to do, but it's not stopping me. It's
going to be a long process but I'm doing it...I'm doing it slowly, but I'm
doing it," said Scott Schroeder.
"His spirit has not broken through all of this, and it's nice to see a
smile back on his face, and he's worked so hard to get where he is today,"
That place he's been waiting years to be is home with his community in
While Schroeder has made significant progress in his rehab, he still has
more surgeries and physical therapy ahead of him. He'll now be working with
doctors at Blanchfield Hospital at Ft. Campbell.
Montgomery County Mayor Carolyn Bowers declared Sunday Scott Schroeder Day.