SSG Travis Strong always had a passion for speed and adventure. He grew up playing football as a strong safety, racing dirt bikes and even competing in MMA fighting (open class level). In 1997, he joined the U.S. Army and followed in the footsteps of his stepdad who served in Vietnam. When the planes hit the World Trade Center on 9/11, Strong re-enlisted with the Army’s First Stryker Brigade and deployed to Iraq. During his second deployment in 2006, Strong’s unit was on night patrol when a powerful EFP (Explosively Formed Penetrator) bomb engulfed the vehicle. “I remember the smoke, the smell, the fire, and everyone yelling,” Strong said. “When I looked down and saw my right leg was gone and my left leg was mangled, I began to black out.” Strong flat-lined four times on the way to Camp Liberty and when he woke up the battalion commander reassured him, “You’re still with us, you’re alive.” As Strong began his long road to recovery, he went through every emotion: anger, sadness, depression and despair. Strong encourages others to overcome adversity. He embraces his name as a birthright and is committed to prove you can live life and BE STRONG! SSG Strong loves to pay it forward. He teaches and trains others with disabilities to compete in adaptive sports at the Adaptive Training Foundation. He skis, he has completed 3 marathons on handbikes, he competes in Spartan races, and every day he commits to live the best life he can. Helping a Hero worked closely with Lennar to adapt the two story Freedom Plan which includes 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms. It is a Next Gen model that will enable Strong to host other veterans while he is training them for adaptive sports. And it is only the 2nd two story home ever built by Helping a Hero for a double amputee. He uses the stairs to train and demonstrated he could get to the top of the stairs and back down in under 11 seconds. Travis is excited to move into their new home where he will be able to be totally independent.