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Wounded Warrior Sgt. Knudsen enjoys serving others - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Wounded Warrior Sgt. Knudsen enjoys serving others

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HAUGHTON, La. (KTBS) -

Now that we have entered this thankful season, we wanted you to hear from a man who has a lot to celebrate this year. In 2007, retired Air Force Sgt. Tom Knudsen was severely injured while serving in Iraq.

"My brother had this made. This was the night I was injured, June of 2007. He had this made as we were gonna meet up in Baghdad that night after this mission we were on and never made it there." says Sgt. Knudsen.

KTBS 3 Neil Shaw: "What do you remember about that night?"

"Everything. I remember going down the road we were coming out of Spyker Airbase."

That's when Knudsen's vehicle was blown up by a roadside bomb. It was after midnight when the military vehicle lit up in a fireball. KTBS 3 News did a feature on Tom Knudsen in 2009, when he was unable to walk at that time. Knudsen credits fellow serviceman John Pruden for saving his life.

"I told him to leave me in the truck. He wouldn't leave me in the truck. Why didn't he leave me in the truck? I had a driveshaft through my leg. I didn't think we was going to get me out of there."

Today, after 23 surgeries and rehab, this wounded warrior is walking. He and his wife Emily are raising their son and live in Haughton. Knudsen proudly displays his awards including his purple heart and discusses the scars received during wartime.

"This foot was folded over so I could see the inside bottom of my foot. There is now 13 screws and 2 pins that hold it together."

Sgt. Knudsen would love to once again be deployed but now sees the role he plays in assisting fellow wounded warriors live a good life.

"I wanted to be a part of that flag and defending it. I got help. I think that was the hardest thing to do was ask for help. I got Ms. Milan on base. My own recovery care coordinator on base. I've got the Wounded Warrior Project."

Among other support groups that have helped Tom Knudsen make a transition back to civilian life and as for his wife and family?

"I would not be here without Emily. That has got to be the best woman I have ever met in my life. I'm so lucky to have her as my wife."

And of course there is his faith in God.

"Without faith, where would you turn to? And then you find out what really matters in life. It comes down to Christ, your family and the people who really want to support you. Your real family and friends and without that 3 combination, I'm not gonna say it's hopeless, but it's a losing fight."

Of course Sgt. Knudsen is looking forward to celebrating the holidays with his family. And after the New Year, a new start. He's hoping to enroll in the police academy in Baton Rouge. He's certainly an amazing guy who does want to serve others.

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