Injured veteran says he never will quit
June 4, 2012
BASCOM - Shane Parsons considers himself victorious.
Parsons, who was deployed to Iraq in 2005, went into cardiac arrest three times, suffered a traumatic brain injury and lost both legs above his knees after he and his gunner were hit by a group of explosives Sept. 30, 2006. He spent time at several hospitals and went through 15 surgeries as he recovered.
Yet, with help from Wounded Warrior Project, he is working toward a goal of becoming a volunteer football coach.
"I won. (The enemy) lost. I'm the one that won. ... I was ready to die for my country, no matter what," he said.
Parsons, who retired as a sergeant from the U.S. Army, expressed appreciation for veterans and soldiers when he spoke during a Memorial Day service in Bascom's Sandridge Cemetery Sunday afternoon.
He recalled watching the events of Sept. 11, 2001, as a junior at Fostoria High School. He went home from school and said he would take the fight to the terrorists. He said they were not going to come to the United States and spit in its face.
Parsons decided to join the U.S. Army and said he wanted to serve his country the best he could.
"I was ready to lay my life down," he said.
Parsons said he was on his way back to eat the day he was attacked. He recalled seeing something. The group of explosives he had noticed detonated, and there was smoke everywhere. Parsons said he made sure his comrade was all right, and his comrade, who lost a leg in the attack, got up on his remaining leg to defend.
Parsons returned fire. He remembered laying on the battlefield, not knowing what was going on, and attempting to apply a tourniquet to his leg.
His attitude was, "Don't tell (Mom) that I was injured."
The explosives were meant to take out a tank, he said.
"I was in a Humvee," he said.
Since the attack, Parsons has gone skiing and rock climbing and has played sled hockey. He said he volunteered to fight in the war and was ready to die for the country. He said he never will quit.
"Nothing can keep me down," he said. "Nothing."
Flags lined SR 18 through Bascom, and a parade followed the ceremony. Bob DeWald, chairman for the ceremony at the cemetery, said it was another great day in Bascom.
"We really appreciate what you've done," he told Parsons.