This is Sgt. Kevin Downs, a member of the National Guards’ 278th Regimental Combat Team. He is 22 years old. In August 2005, his Humvee was bombed while serving in Iraq. The three other men with him were killed. Kevin was blown from the vehicle and landed in a ditch. He had burns on over 60% of his body, even internally he was burned in his lungs and throat. The doctors believed he would not survive. Kevin lost both legs from the knee down, lost nearly all of his left arm and has partial use of his right hand Almost two years later and countless surgeries, Kevin is alive! On Tuesday night, July 17, 2007, thousands of people gathered at Greer Stadium. The cause? Home for a Hero. It was a benefit concert to raise funds to build a house for Kevin, a house where is can use his wheelchair freely…and live on his own someday. Country acts such a Lonestar, Charlie Daniels, Craig Morgan and others gave of their time and talent so that all proceeds could go towards a new home for Kevin.
While most children were more entertained but the music and the ability to dance freely all the adults there knew the root of the concert. Kevin is a Hero. It has nothing to do with war but everything to do with his attitude. He is joyful and kind. He smiles through all the burns and you just want to smile back.
Whether or not you like President Bush, whether or not you approve of the governments decisions regarding the war, whether or not you even support the war does not matter. What matters is that we continue to take time to thank our service men and women for defending our country, putting their lives on the line often.
Would you believe that when asked about the war, Kevin said he would go back. He loved what he did. He might not look like a hero to you but he is our local hero!