In February 2008 newly enlisted Matthew Wheeler arrived in Baghdad, Iraq with the 25th Infantry Division. As part of a small reconnaissance platoon Wheeler’s group was constantly engaged in fighting the enemy. There were lots of direct small arms fire from AK47s, indirect mortar fire, and plenty of improvised explosive devices (IED). On June 22, 2008 while at his combat outpost Matthew was involved in a catastrophic accident. While fueling up a generator, static electricity sparked a diesel fire which quickly spread to a stock pile of fuel jugs, Matthew suffered 3rd degree burns to 60-percent of his body. Within 48 hours of being injured Matthew was flown to Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC) where the 20 year-old spent three months in a medically induced coma. Twice during that time his family was told he would not live. A week after coming to BAMC Matthew got a serious bacterial infection which caused all his organs to shut down, he immediately was put on dialysis and a portion of his small intestine had to be removed. From August to October 2008 Matthew underwent at least 20 surgeries to repair nerve damage and skin grafts to increase circulation and minimize scarring. Throughout this time Matthew’s parents and younger brother put their lives in Tampa, Florida on hold in order to be close by in San Antonio. Upon his release from BAMC, Matthew and his family moved into the Fisher House at Fort Sam Houston, a temporary guest house for injured soldiers and their families. After five months at the Fisher House, Wheeler’s mom Janet found out about Operation Homefront Village. Thanks to Operation Homefront, the Wheeler’s were able to move into a 3-bedroom apartment larger enough for the family of four. Matthew had three more surgeries in June of 2009. He continues to receive physical and occupational therapy to rehabilitate his right leg which suffered extensive nerve damage. For Matthew coming to OH Village in San Antonio was a Godsend. “Here I feel like I’m at home and not in a hotel room,” said Corporal Wheeler. The homelike setting at OH Village has enabled Matthew to focus on preparing for his future. Matthew wants to go to college and eventually become a game warden.