Born in Lubbock and raised by his grandparents, Shawn Walton finished high school early in order to enlist in the United States Army. Shawn was greatly influenced by his grandfather to join the military, but it was ultimately the bombing on 911 which led to his decision. He enlisted in January of 2004 and was on his way to making a career of the military. All his plans came to an abrupt change in August of 2007 when he stepped on improvised explosive device (IED) in Iraq.
“The first squad went in to search the building and make sure there was no enemy in there. Captain Newman was in front of me. We stood up and he turned to walk and next thing I know I was laying on the ground,” he said.
Shawn’s life changed forever at that moment. Since his injury, he has had to endure over 17 surgeries, hundreds of hours of physical therapy, the result of which has left Shawn with no feeling on outer left side of his body. He continues to regain limited mobility, but faces disabilities for the remainder of his life.
Shawn’s not the only one injured from this incident. Shawn’s wife, Kristin, faced the hardships right alongside Shawn. She spent six months by his side at Brooke Army Medical Center while family members back home help with their young daughter. Since returning to Lubbock, Kristin has had to redirect her nursing career while Shawn continues to recuperate.
Shawn says it has been a long road to recovery after getting injured. “It’s a hard moment when you realize that what you have worked so hard for and planned out for your life is no longer your reality. Military was inevitably going to be my career. It’s been life changing ever since I got out and maybe we can finally get to where we want now.”
Being the third recipient of a Homes for Heroes house means Shawn and his family can now focus on building their lives together once again rather than struggling to pay the rent. Shawn and Kristin will be awarded this symbol of appreciation for his service this fall during the WTHBA Fall Tour of Homes. This is the third time Lubbock Homes for Heroes, a non-profit organization founded by WTHBA, granted a wounded war veteran with a new house.
Robert Wood, President of Lubbock Homes for Heroes, said this is just a small token of the organization’s appreciation for what these brave soldiers have sacrificed for our country.
“We can never fathom what they’re going through…they gave everything for us on the battlefield,” Wood said.
Sergeant Walton and his wife have three little girls. They said this new home will help them out tremendously with their growing family.