MARYVILLE (WATE) – Friday was the beginning of a new adventure for a highly-decorated East Tennessee veteran and his family. They’re back home after a year of surgeries, therapy and care at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center outside of Washington D.C.
Five years ago while serving overseas in Afghanistan, Capt. Michael Trost survived a shooting that left him severely injured. Since then he’s met former President Obama and was awarded the Purple Heart.
“It’s great to be home. Let me tell you, it’s great,” Trost said Friday.
The last year has been an adventure for the family.
“We made it a point. We’re going to have to not only endure my recovery but we’re going to live,” added Trost.
It was constant pain and stress fractures that led the Army veteran to D.C. Doctors performed surgery on his leg and hand, and while there were medical setbacks, the couple stayed strong.
“With the new leg now, I am almost as good as the original leg before the incident,” said Capt. Trost.
After much healing, came many firsts. Trost used his prosthetic leg for the first time in January but it was also the first time he went to an Inaugural Ball and danced with his wife Stephanie.
“I’m not the best dancer in the world, but I could stand up. And the ability to stand up and get out of the chair is, I don’t know how to describe it,” he said.
Along the way the family was able to visit and experience the museums, as well as see the varying protests.
“To me it was like holding something that I paid for,” said Capt. Trost.
And so after 12 months in D.C. leaving on Thursday to come home has been bittersweet.
“The last week, meeting with the doctors, and you see a doctor that welts up with a big tear, it’s hard,” said Stephanie Trost.
This next year shouldn’t be hard. ”
They asked me what are your goals and I said ‘You better get a piece of paper and pencil out because I’ve got a bunch,'” said Capt. Trost.
In July he plans on hiking trails in Yosemite National Park as well as taking up surfing again. The Trost family mentioned how grateful they were for the help and support they’ve gotten this last year, both in East Tennessee and in Washington D.C.