SGT (Ret.) Chris Mazander*
Chris grew up in Pearcy, AR, where he enjoyed playing basketball and running cross-country.
Mazander joined the US Army in 2001 and was deployed to Iraq in 2003 as a tank gunner. During a regular patrol, a firefight with insurgents ensued. An explosive hit Mazander's tank, causing him to hit his head and lose consciousness. A few months later, Chris was medically evacuated to Germany when an unusual insect bite created swelling in his arm. The insect bite required several surgeries, and both incidents have left Mazander with traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress, and chronic pain. It was later discovered that he developed spinal complications, and underwent additional surgeries.
Of his wife and caretaker, Daniela, Mazander describes her as "one of the strongest and most amazing people I know." The couple have four daughters, and look forward to continuing to support one another.
* Home Grant Recipient