Richard Ingram received his commission as an Army Lieutenant this month, after completing his degree at North Georgia College and State University. You may ask why this is important...well, because in June 2005 Lt Ingram lost part of his left arm while serving as a Cavalry Scout in Iraq. According to the Army, Lt Ingram is the first person with such severe combat injuries to earn a commission through ROTC.
Lt Ingram was attending school at North Georgia College when the National Guard Unit he served with was activated and sent to Iraq. He was injured when his tactical vehicle rolled several times after being hit by an IED. Lt Ingram is quoted as saying,
"I didn't think there was any way I was going to live through it when the truck started rolling. But it was clear that I hadn't fulfilled my purpose in this life. Even though I was hurt, I knew I'd get to keep doing the things I love so much. I was being given another chance at life."
After recovery and rehabilitation at Walter Reed, including getting fit for a prosthesis, Lt Ingram decided it was time to go back to school and get on with his life, so he went back to North Georgia College and returned to the ROTC program there. His ROTC instructors were impressed with Lt Ingram's physical conditioning, despite the loss of part of his arm. They quickly concluded that he had what it took to be an Army officer and was capable of carrying out any duties required of him. His ROTC professor said, "Lieutenant Ingram demonstrated throughout his time in ROTC that he was more than capable -- both physically and mentally -- to be a highly effective leader in our Army. The professor explained, "Once you spend time observing Richard, you forget that he has a physical disability. He can run faster and do more physical training than most cadets. He will do an outstanding job leading troops in combat, and I know he will succeed in his goal to attend Airborne, Sapper and Ranger training."
So what does this exceptional young officer say about his decision to continue pursuing a career as an Army officer? He says, "I am extremely proud to have earned a commission through the Army ROTC program at North Georgia College, and I look forward to serving as an Army officer.' But he also explains, "I didn't decide to do this just to get a slap on the back. I want to be an inspiration to others who were wounded."
Well, Lt Ingram, in my opinion you're an inspiration to a lot of folks; wounded or not. You've shown that you can set a goal and overcome difficulties placed in your path in order to achieve that goal. Wonderful...and inspiring!
1 year ago