Living with RSD (Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy) Guest: Heriberto Vidro

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To this day, Army Staff Sergeant Heriberto Vidro doesn’t know what hit him. A veteran of more than 23 years of service at the time of his injury, Heriberto was part of the 773rd Transportation Company a fule transport unit out of Ft. Totten. In March of 2003, he and his unit were transporting fuel to the front lines when they were suddenly caught in a cross fire. Blocked by barriers on the right and the 3rd Infantry Division on the left, Heriberto and his unit had to abandon their trucks.He was running for cover when the explosion hit. “I don't know what it was. Whatever it was just picked me up and carried me back and I don't know the distance it was, but I know that when I landed, I hurt my back,” he says. “And with the adrenalin and everything else, I just got up, kept on running.” Within hours, the battle subsided and tanks flattened the barriers that had held up the convoy. Heriberto was sore, but he and his fellow soldiers got back in their trucks and continued on their mission.His back would never be the same. But no one, not the Army, not even Heriberto himself was aware of the extent of his injuries. He completed his tour and came home at the end of 2003. The road back has been a difficult one. At 49, Heriberto finds himself an elder among his peers and he worries about his health. “It's not easy living with pain”.When he discovered Wounded Warrior Project, he found men and women he could relate to, people he could talk to. Doors began to open to new experiences, and Heriberto found a new purpose. Today, Heriberto is still healing, still taking one day at a time. He recently got a service dog named Houdini to help him with everyday tasks like opening doors; answering the phone and helping him sit and stand. He says his involvement with Wounded Warrior Project has contributed to his healing.

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