Alan Babin became an airborne combat medic “to help people.” He joined the Army in March of 2002 and was deployed to Iraq with the 82nd Airborne Division.
A year later, the call for a medic rang out, and Alan rushed to the aid of a fellow paratrooper. That’s when he sustained a gunshot wound to the abdomen. “A call for a medic had gone out and I left a covered position,” he said. “It was my job and I was there to do it.” His injury resulted in tetraplegia, or paralysis of four limbs. He was 23 years old.
Alan has endured over 70 abdominal surgeries, as well as a stroke, meningitis, and infections. He has lost 90% of his stomach, his spleen, and part of his pancreas. He’s had five brain surgeries.
Due to the severity of his injury Alan will require daily care for the rest of his life. During the first seven months of his recovery, his parents, Rosie and Alan Sr., learned how to care for his wounds and the life ahead for him. Rosie pushed her plans of retirement aside and became the sole caretaker for Alan.
In addition to his family, Paralyzed Veterans of America has been there for him every step of the way. It was through Paralyzed Veterans that Alan’s family was able to find a balance to caring for Alan and securing his benefits. His national service officer (NSO) helped the Babin family through the tedious process of applying for VA benefits so he could receive them as quickly as possible.
Rosie thanks PVA for helping her adjust to the caregiver role, and for assisting the family with securing Alan’s earned benefits.
“The fact that PVA is there and advocating on behalf of paralyzed veterans is a really good feeling,” says Rosie.
During his service, Alan earned several commendations, including the Combat Medic Badge. After his injury, Alan received a Purple Heart, a Bronze Star with V for Valor and a Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal.
Today, Alan can breathe and talk. He resides in Round Rock, Texas with his loving family, and continues to help others by telling his story and creating awareness of the disabled community’s needs. He is proud to have served his country. “If I could do it over again, I would,” he says.