Luis Avila

US Army Captain

Captain Luis Avila grew up in a military family from Metairie, LA. He joined the United States Army in 2000 and became an officer in 2004. Luis served five combat tours in Afghanistan and Iraq.

On December 27, 2011, while leading his team, a mounted improvised explosive device (IED) detonated nearby. Three of his fellow soldiers were killed by the blast and two others were severely wounded. Luis suffered an amputation of his left leg, two strokes, two heart attacks, and severe lack of oxygen which caused anoxic brain damage. Ultimately, he was left almost completely paralyzed.

Luis was in a coma for forty days. Although the doctors felt he would not recover, his wife Claudia and three sons stayed by his side. On February 13, 2012, Luis opened his eyes for the first time. He continues his extensive therapy at Walter Reed National Medical Center. Today Luis continues to progress while maintaining a positive attitude and an incredible sense of humor.

Luis and his family are enjoying their new life chapter in their specially adapted smart home.

2017 Hurricane Relief

We’re thrilled to announce Snowball Express is now an official program of the Gary Sinise Foundation! More details will follow, but rest assured we will expand on this program’s important work while maintaining their many wonderful traditions.

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