Army Specialist Joseph (Joey) Paulk
Army Specialist Joseph (Joey) Paulk is retired and living back in his hometown of Vista, California with his girlfriend and two dogs. On July 5, 2007 he was injured in Afghanistan when his tactical vehicle was hit by 3 anti-tank mines, flipping it over and igniting the fuel tank. Tragically, his team leader lost his life during the attack, and Joey was left with significant injuries. He suffered 40% burns to his body and face, smoke inhalation, paralysis of his vocal cords and complete amputation of all 10 fingers. He had to re-learn how to walk, talk, swallow, and cope without the use of his hands. Joey is a changed man after only three surgeries with Operation Mend.