My name is Aaron Fouraker. I grew up in rural Arkansas, and while still in high school, completed certification in CAD and as a machinist. Immediately after graduating, I joined the Army to be an airborne infantryman. After completion of basic training and airborne school, I received orders to the 82nd airborne division. In my first seven months at Fort Bragg, I was awarded soldier of the month and completed SFARTAETC and basic Demo school. In December of 2006, Task Force Red Devil was assembled to destroy the Muqtada Al-Sadr's militia in the heavily fortified stronghold of Sadr City, in preparation for "the surge" that was to come in the following months. Previous to this date, Sadr City had no coalition presence for 18 months, which allowed the insurgents time to strategize and fortify that entire section of Baghdad, Iraq.
Immediately upon our entrance into Sadr City, the engagements were long, often, and bloody. We were broken down into 18 man teams that lived continuously in abandoned buildings throughout the city for the duration of the 15 month deployment. Task Force Red Devil was credited for more enemy KIA's than any other unit in OIF. During the deployment I was positioned as an assault team leader with a secondary job as a designated marksman.
On July 31st, 2007 I was hit with an IED that damaged several vertebra in my spine, as well as all the surrounding soft tissue. I was also left with over twenty pieces of shrapnel in my neck and chest cavity, as well as a brain injury. Upon being returned to duty, I opted to finish out the deployment with my team, relying on injections to make it through the remainder of the tour.
Upon returning stateside I was deemed unfit for duty and the process of medical retirement began. While waiting for my release, I was placed in my unit's arms room due to having a secret clearance and a thorough knowledge of weapons and night vision devices.
Once retired from active duty in 2009, I formed a weapons manufacturing company. In 2011, I moved on to doing R&D for some of the best silencer and weapons manufacturers in the industry, and continue to do so today. I am a 100% disabled veteran due to the injuries to my spine I received in 2007. While it is not expected that I make a full recovery, the recovery process is still ongoing with operations in the work that will allow me increased mobility.