Dec 9, 2009 3:04 AM by Jeannette Hynes
Specialist Andrew Trotto spent 13 months in Iraq. He's 22 years old but says he feels like he's an old man, because of the injuries he received.
"I've seen a lot of really messed up things," says Trotto. "I do have TBI [traumatic brain injuries], hearing loss in my left ear, blown vertebrates, and PTSD [post traumatic stress disorder]. That's the gist of it."
Colorado Technical University and the nonprofit Yellow Robbon Fund have given Trotto and four other wounded Fort Carson soldiers full scholarships to earn a college degree through CTU's online program.
For Trotto, it's a second chance.
"I want to become an officer and be able to give those soldiers the help that they need that I didn't get," says Trotto.
The program began last year, giving 25 wounded warriors scholarships to CTU. This year, 25 spouses of wounded warriors are also receiving scholarships.
"I want to pay him back for everything he's done. I could never do anything to the extent he did, but this is what I can do," says Katelynn Jordan.
Jordan's husband was in Iraq on foot patrol. An improvised explosive device hit six feet in front of him, shattering the bones in his lower legs in March of this year. He was in Walter Reed Hospital for several months and has had at least 10 surgeries. Jordan says her husband's military future is uncertain, so she says she's grateful to be able to get a degree and provide for him.
"I just don't want him in pain anymore," says Jordan.
Other Fort Carson soldiers who received scholarships include: Michael Francisco, Cynthia Galvin, Jason Nash, Eric Sassenfeld. Fort Carson spouse recipients are Martha Ann Clairborn, Samantha Friese, Barbara Huntington, Jillian Rickman, Nicole Smith, and Danielle Trotto.