CPL (Ret.) Rob Engelbrecht, USA
CPL (Ret.) Robert Engelbrecht grew up in Magnolia, Texas where he attended Tomball High School and was active in the ROTC. Robert comes from a heritage of service, with one grandfather who served in Korea and the other in World War II.
Rob joined the army in March 2004 and deployed to Iraq in September 2005, where he served as a Humvee driver. On July 31, 2006, he was the lead driver in a convoy hit by an improvised explosive device (IED). The blast severely damaged Robert’s leg and caused him to lose control of his vehicle. The Humvee crashed into a river and Engelbrecht’s fellow soldiers pulled him out through the back door.
He remained unconscious until the helicopter arrived and transported him to the Iraq military hospital. Rob was then sent to Germany and later to Walter Reed for further medical treatment and numerous surgeries to save his leg. The effort was ultimately unsuccessful.
Rob lost his right eye and has only 40% vision remaining in his left. Shrapnel from the IED left his right arm impaired and caused significant damage to his spinal discs. The spinal damage requires him to be in a wheelchair 95% of the time. He also suffered a traumatic brain injury that has impacted his short term memory.
Despite all of his life-changing injuries, Rob remains upbeat and optimistic about his future. He is an active advocate for Helping A Hero and is dedicated to ‘paying it forward’ so that other wounded veterans may receive an adapted Helping A Hero home, as he has. He was our first wounded warrior to pay off his $50,000 mortgage.