My name is Jimmy A. Aguila former paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division Gulf war era veteran. After my time in active duty I returned to my home in Puerto Rico and worked with the Puerto Rico electric power authority as a power lineman. When 9/11 happened I felt the need to return to duty and defend our nation enlisting in 2003 and three years later I was patrolling the streets of Bagdad in search of IED’S Improvised explosive device.
During my tour of duty I turned 40 mixed feelings that day but all was good no IED attacks or ambushes. Now two days later while on route Vernon we encountered several IEDS, while we where in process of eliminating them one of them went off luckily only our robot suffered so we had to deploy another. I was very uneasy because the more time you spend working that IED is time the enemy has to set up an ambushed.
After a while we eliminated the threat and proceeded to continue our mission that’s when the IED went of right next to my vehicle I was a gunner, I was blown unconscious had first degree burns on my face. after a while I recovered and was taken to the aid station and later released with bed rest.
A month later was hit again suffering another concussion and my third hit came on Christmas day disabling our vehicle. After that last IED I was medevac to Kuwait for abdominal surgery and was found after further testing they told I had ruptured a disk in my back and torn my bicep muscle and was medically evacuated to Germany and later the US. I was Awarded the Purple Heart. Retiring in 2009 and having back surgery where they inserted a rod to hold my spine together and
having my bicep muscle anchored back in place.
Being diagnose with PTSD and a mild Traumatic Brain injury I was very scared. I needed to feel whole again, so I decided to take up flying a childhood dream. I set my goals a with the help of my flight Instructor Mr. Gerardo Torres I started flying Tecnams, Piper cubs even a few Cessna's along the way. But it wasn’t until I flew my friends Quicksilver and there it was I felt totally different of how I felt in the other models, the open cockpit made me feel Like I was free, the wind the smells of the oceans the dew in the fields on early morning flights.
It has help me a lot, giving me the encouragement to continue thriving for a better future, today I'm a Sport Pilot and working on my CFIS and soon a proud owner of a Quicksilver SLSA in which I would I would take up my brothers in arms so they can to benefit from the healing of the soul as I like to call it through the power of flight! I would Like to thank you Will for working with me on this matter, will be in contact with you soon. I'm not much of a writer but I hope this will encourage more Veterans to take up flight and especially on a Quicksilver.