Retired U.S. Air Force Staff Sergeant Brian Schiefer grew up in Bridgeport, a small town in Michigan. As a child, Brian was already interested in airplanes and the military. During his junior year of high school, he decided to join the Air Force and began training about one month after graduation. During Brian’s career, he formed a brotherhood with his team and became a mentor to many fellow service members.
On November 11th, 2008, while on a pre-deployment training exercise to Fort Irwin CA, Brian took some younger members out into the field to conduct Live Close Air Support. Upon their return, his vehicle slid out and rolled over, throwing Brian from the truck.
This crashed cause Brian to spend 5 weeks in the ICU and he underwent a 16-hour surgery to stabilize his spine. After 5 months of inpatient and 6 months of outpatient therapy, he had to adjust to his new life as a paraplegic. Brian considers the nurses who took care of him at the various hospitals his true heroes. His parents’ love and devotion, along with his own determination, kept him moving forward.
Brian purchased a home in Florida in 2009 and had an extensive remodel done to make it more accessible. However, even with these modifications, he still faces many obstacles that hinder his comfort and independence.
Brian sits on several medical research and technology panels to give a voice to patients with injuries similar to his own. He is fighting for all spinal cord injured patients to receive the top-quality care and transitional support they need. He hopes to continue spreading awareness, paving the way for others with similar injuries, and continuing living his life to the fullest. The Gary Sinise Foundation was honored to provide Brian a specially adapted smart home that has eased his daily challenges and helped him achieve his goals.