On January 22, 2011 Chaz was on a dismounted patrol in the Zhari district in Afghanistan and stepped on an 40 pound IED. He instantly lost both legs, one above the knee, one below and the blast took a piece of his elbow. His amazing soldiers got him to the chopper in 8 minutes. Chaz remained alert throughout the entire experience. He even tried to call in for his own 9 Line Medevac. From the battlefield he went to Kandahar, then Bagram, then Germany and then finally to Walter Reed in DC. While in Kandahar his knee was determined to be unsalvageable, so they amputated his leg above his knee. He arrived at Walter Reed on January 25, and his wife Jessica was brought there on the 26th.
Chaz and Jessica never stopped to count the amount of surgeries, blood transfusions or procedures Chaz has had. But by Spring of 2011, Chaz had really only one viable limb, his left arm. Chaz is a double above the knee amputee with his right arm fused in a ninety-three degree angle. He also has a painful back injury, hearing loss and several other issues that fill banker’s boxes of paperwork. Chaz medically retired from the service January 19, 2013.
Similar to Mark Holbert, Chaz’s dream for independence began with a wheel chair accessible home. While we at Nine Line were honored to be one of the many organizations contributing to this endeavor and helped pay for some of the handicapped modifications, we wanted to do more.
Chaz has pride in his home and is determined to help with its upkeep and daily family life. With a 10 acre home, pushing a mower could prove quite difficult — most would say impossible. We were honored to present Chaz with an adaptive mower capable of keeping up with his yard. As Chaz also helps in the kitchen, but is known as “T-Rex” due to his fused arm, we also presented them with some virtually indestructible (or at least Chaz proof) cookware — a one time purchase that will last a lifetime for the family.