Sgt. Bryan Anderson was injured in 2005 by an improvised explosive device that resulted in the loss of both legs and his left hand. He is one of the few triple amputees to have survived the Iraq war. Through hard work, hope and extreme courage, Bryan was determined to persevere. After months of therapy and rehabilitation, Bryan's positivity and infectious love for life helped him overcome many of his physical limitations. He now channels that energy into inspiring others who have faced hardship and physical injury to not only live their best lives, but to love and thrive!
Bryan sees his injuries not as a tragedy but as an opportunity — the ultimate challenge to see what he is truly capable of. Bryan says, "how you choose to perceive things are how things are going to be. It’s all about not limiting yourself, because how can you know your limits if you don't test them?" Bryan is all about inspiring others to live their best lives, regardless of the hand they are dealt in life.
Not only is Bryan’s story a testament for anyone suffering from disabilities, but he works to better their lives as well. Bryan is the National Spokesman for USA Cares, a nonprofit that helps post-9/11 vets in crisis, whether it's saving their homes or helping put food on the table, and Quantum Rehab, where he assists with research/development, tests wheelchairs and travels to VAs to talk with clinicians and therapists about disabled service members' specific needs.
“I take nothing for granted. No part of my body, mind or soul goes unused. I’m a unique fit for the life I've been given, and that’s what I tell wounded vets when I meet them. Their injuries are not catastrophes. They are challenges to be overcome. And there's massive fulfillment in overcoming. We don’t get to dictate what kind of life we get. We do get to decide how to live that life."
Bryan doesn't see himself as a hero or an inspiration, but rather as simply one of many veterans who served their country to the best of their ability. He is incredibly humble and doesn't dwell on the negative aspects of his disabilities, instead focusing his energies on helping others "get back to good."
According to Bryan, "the great thing about having to relearn how to use your entire body—and how to steel your soul to fill that body with energy—is that you gain a wisdom about life that you couldn’t have gained any other way."
USA Cares exists to help bear the burdens of service by providing post-9/11 military families with support grants in their time of need, when their hardship is related to their military service. A $50,000 donation would help USA Cares provide financial and advocacy support to as many as 100 veterans, active duty service members and their families. USA Cares strives to reach families at the earliest stage of intervention to prevent further financial distress and suffering, and provides aid through four different programs: Combat Injured, Career Transition, Housing Assistance, and Emergency Assistance.
“Whenever I see Bryan, he renews my faith that anything, no matter how tough it is, can be overcome. It is because of men and women like Bryan, those who have given so much in service to our country, that I am constantly energized to keep up the important work on behalf of our service members... Bryan is just simply a great American who inspires me and I am proud to call him my friend.” - Gary Sinise, July 27, 2011