Born in Minnesota and raised in Missouri, United States Army Sergeant Legrand Strickland (Ret.) joined the Army two years out of high school. After his first enlistment, he entered the National Guard as an Infantry Rifleman and would graduate college with a degree in graphic design. Upon re-enlistment, Legrand was a part of the 82nd Airborne Division.
Returning from a mission in Afghanistan on February 2, 2010, Legrand witnessed an improvised explosive device (IED) strike his Commander’s vehicle ahead of him. His Commander survived the blast and joined Legrand in his vehicle. As they drove away, Legrand’s vehicle was struck by another large explosive. Legrand survived, but his Commander and the driver did not. In critical condition, he was flown to the nearest hospital, then to Germany, then to Ft. Sam Houston Brooke Army Medical Center. He sustained many injuries, including bilateral above-knee amputations and traumatic brain injury (TBI).
Legrand’s wife Carrie has been the most instrumental person in Legrand’s recovery. The couple has two sons – Noah who is in the US Army and Nathan who is a freshman in college. Legrand and Carrie have modified their home to be more accessible to him, but each day still presents difficulties. A specially adapted smart home will further enable them to overcome those challenges together.