The Laing Family
Specialist William Laing had what could be described as the perfect start to his military career in November 2003. First he married his high school girlfriend Megan, and then the two of them enlisted in the Army together in Dallas, Texas. In 2005 Laing was deployed to Iraq as part of a security force with the 221 Cavalry’s 1st Battalion. After successfully completing that mission, Laing served out the final year of his contract with his expiration of term of service (ETS) occurring in November of 2007. In February 2008 Laing was recalled to active duty. In July 2009 Laing found himself in Afghanistan as part of a security detail assigned to protect an infrastructure reconstruction team. On September 22, 2009 Laing was travelling in a four vehicle convoy inspecting a newly completed road when an improvised explosive device (IED) ripped through his truck. Laing, who was the driver, and his gunner were seriously injured. Laing was first med-evaced to Bagram Airfield. There began a four-day odyssey that ended at Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC) on September 26th where he remained until October 16, 2009. Laing suffered a fractured right heel, a shattered right elbow,fractures to several discs in his spine, a fracture to the right side of his pelvis, a fractured tail bone, and a fractured sacrum. Once Laing was released from BAMC, he and Megan moved into the Fisher House at Fort Sam Houston. Due to the close quarters there, the couple decided to send their one year-old son Lucas to stay with relatives. Thanks to Operation Homefront and the Wal-Mart Foundation the Laing’s are now able to be together with their son at Operation Homefront Village – San Antonio. Laing still cannot walk on his right heel and is confined to a wheelchair. He continues to receive physical therapy three times a week. Were it not for OH Village, the Laing’s say it would have been difficult to find off-post housing with handicap access. William and Megan are now able to focus on going back to school. Laing hopes to get into IT work networking systems like his dad. Megan, who was a medic in the Army, is hoping to complete her nursing degree. The Laing’s are currently saving up to buy their first home. Once William has completed his treatment at BAMC, they plan to move back to Dallas.