Wounded Army veteran walked to give back


By Debbie Gregory.

Courage is personified in a man named Sergeant First Class Micah Welintukonis. SFC Welintukonis, an Army medic, was severely injured on July 9, 2012 in Afghanistan. He sustained injuries to his abdomen and left arm from a suicide bomb while attempting to aid an injured American soldier.

He vaguely remembers being carried on a stretcher under enemy fire to a helicopter that flew him to safety. Doctors immediately put him into a medically induced coma. He was on life support; could barely breathe; had shrapnel wounds to his left arm, abdomen and face; suffered two pulmonary embolisms; and had a traumatic brain injury.

Micah’s recovery and resiliency astounds everyone.  And to mark the one year an after the attack that easily could have cost him his life – Micah walked 60 miles to raise money for our wounded warriors and veterans.  This was his idea, his mission.  And it is yet another honorable chapter in the life of a man who consistently uses his story, and his life, to better those of others.

While on his walk from July 9 to July 12, Welintukonis visited a number of VFW and American Legion posts across the state to raise money for the groups that have helped him recover from his injuries.

The money will support the Wounded Warrior Project, which is a nonprofit organization whose stated mission is to “honor and empower” soldiers who were hurt in the line of duty. The Wounded Warrior Project helped Welintukonis’ family cope after he was flown to Walter Reed Medical Center in critical condition. Each VFW or American Legion post Welintukonis visited will also receive funding from the walk.

Welintukonis, the married father of a baby boy, is a member of the American Legion, VFW, Wounded Warrior Project and American Legion organizations.