In November of 2009, Staff Sergeant Ben Ricard
was driving a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle when he hit a roadside improvised explosive device. The blast blew him through the door of the vehicle. Ben suffered two broken legs, a broken arm, a broken back, and a traumatic brain injury.
Following initial treatment at Langstuhl Germany and then Walter Reed Army Hospital, Ben entered the Richmond Veteran's Affairs Polytrauma Rehabilitation Center to begin the recovery process.
After significant therapy and treatment, including learning to walk again, Ben returned to an active-duty Marine Corps unit.
Throughout his treatment and recovery, Ben found strength in many sources: his wife, his children, his parents, his military training, and his belief in himself. "I gradually got stronger. I was able to stand up. I was able to walk. I was able to hug my wife. I was able to hold my kids. No matter how tough it is, it gets better. That's the toughest thing to deal with because it takes time and it takes patience."