Army 2nd Lt. Nick Vogt, 1st Battalion, 5th
Infantry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade combat Team, 25th Infantry
Division, takes a moment in between doctor visits to smile for the
camera on May 2, 2012. Vogt lost both of his legs after being struck
by an IED while on patrol in Southern Kandahar, Afghanistan Nov 12,
2011. Courtesy Photo by 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th
Infantry Division Public Affairs
FORT WAINWRIGHT, Alaska (5/2/2012) – When 2nd Lt. Nick Vogt stepped
on an improvised explosive device, while leading a patrol through
the streets of southern Kandahar, Afghanistan, doctors at the nearby
hospital weren't sure he would live.
Sheila Vogt, Nick's
mother, remembers the grim details regarding his initial diagnosis.
“Nick was injured on Nov. 12, 2011, and did not arrive in
Germany until November 15th due to the fact he was very critical and
was not stable enough to fly,” Sheila recalls. “My husband and I
were instructed that we would fly to Germany on November 17th to be
with Nick. When we arrived at Landstuhl, the doctors sat us down and
said, ‘Mr. and Mrs. Vogt, your son is very critical. He is hour by
Nick had suffered such traumatic injuries that he had
to undergo double amputations of both legs. Because of the amount of
blood lost, the hospital on Kandahar Air Field called for an
emergency blood draw.
“Complete shock, sadness, disbelief,
but most of all the immediate need for prayer,” said Mrs. Vogt
remembering her initial reaction to the news.
service members from many different nations came to the rescue and
provided the blood necessary.
With blood stockpiled, Nick made it through the first
batch of surgeries and was later evacuated to Germany for
What the future had in store for
Nick's health was unknown but after five months of extensive
surgeries and daily rehabilitation, the outlook on his
future and health has improved and the Vogt family now has
its sights set on a successful recovery.
on the Vogt family's social media website highlighted how
far he has come since the tragic day in Afghanistan. It
reads; ‘Nick has left the hospital' and describes a short
lunch trip Nick and his family enjoyed outside and away from
the confines of the hospital.
In early April, the
West Point graduate and platoon leader with the 1st
Battalion, 5th Infantry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat
Team, 25th Infantry Division, was moved to a Veterans
Affairs clinic in Richmond, Va., where he conducts four
separate therapies a day; kinesiotherapy, occupational,
physical and speech therapy.
“Nick is starting to
look like his old self- getting some meat on his bones,
smiling, laughing and being ornery,” Sheila said.
addition to the prayers Nick gets from his friends and
family, he also receives support from his ‘battle buddies'
throughout his unit.
Shortly after being transferred
to Richmond, 2nd Lt. Vogt received a surprise visit from
Maj. Gen. Raymond Palumbo, commanding general for U.S. Army
During his visit Maj. Gen. Palumbo presented
the 24-year-old Vogt with a commander's coin and clothing to
help with his rehabilitation.
In addition to the
commanding general, members of Nick's unit have also made
the trip to visit their comrade, demonstrating the true
meaning behind the ‘military family.'
“I think every
one of Nick's chain of command has been to visit him at
least once at Walter Reed and/or the VA Hospital in
Richmond,” said Nicks' mom. “Neither my husband nor I have
any military background, but it is wonderful to see just how
close the ‘military family' really is.”
support of his family, his unit and his hometown in
Crestline, Ohio, Mrs. Vogt said Nick is remaining positive
and is looking forward to returning to Walter Reed Army
Medical Center where he is scheduled to begin rehab with
Sheila, speaking on behalf of
her injured son, said Nick is still pondering his future and
is trying to figure out the steps to accomplish all of his
She said he is still considering furthering
his future in the military.
While Nick thinks of his
future and struggles with recovery, supporters have come
together to make the recovery as painless as possible.
A 5K run will be held May 5, in the city of Crestline,
Ohio to help raise money.
According to a recent
interview published with the Bucyrus Telegraph Forum.com,
race organizer Matt Bickert said, "People are sending us
checks and messages. We never expected this sort of
response. It's been great."
More than 600 people have
already pre-registered, according to the site.
could never find the words to express our appreciation and
gratitude to the hundreds of people who have helped Nick
survive his injuries,” Sheila said. “Thank you from the
bottom of our hearts. Had it not been for you, we would not
have been able to tell the story of Nick's survival. He has
a very bright future, and we are so glad that God put you
into Nick's life.”
Nick has also been cleared to
travel back to Alaska and has plans to re-join his unit for
a special celebration this month.
The Vogt family
has created a
Facebook page to help supporters follow Nick's recovery.
By Thomas Duval, U.S. Army
Comment on this article