US Army CW5 Gary Linfoot grew up in Los Angeles. He initially enlisted in the Army Reserve after graduating high school in the hopes of becoming a helicopter pilot. After attending Flight School and graduating a Warrant Officer in 1990, Gary joined the Army’s elite 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) (SOAR(A)) in 1997.
On May 31, 2008, while conducting operations in Iraq, Gary’s helicopter suffered a catastrophic mechanical failure. The helicopter crash-landed, injuring Gary severely. Medics evacuated him to Germany for a spine stabilization surgery, and treatment took him from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, to the Tampa VA Hospital and finally the Shepherd Center in GA. His broken back paralyzed Gary from the waist down. After three months of recovery, Gary returned home to a very new kind of life.
Gary and his wife Mari have raised three children over their twenty-six-year marriage. As with every other challenge they have confronted, they fight to overcome Gary's disability together and have had remarkable success. Wearing an exoskeleton suit, Gary walked his oldest daughter Allyssa down the aisle on her wedding day in 2016, and he currently works as a helicopter simulator instructor pilot with the 160th SOAR(A) at Fort Campbell, KY. A specially adapted smart home will help the Linfoot family continue to overcome the challenges before them.