Heroes from the Heart of Virginia: Sgt. First Class Randolph Stone

Brookneal, VA - Sergeant First Class Randolph Stone went into the Army in 1983. During his time in the military, he served in Operation Desert Storm as a Tank Mechanic and went on to serve several tours in Iraq and Afghanistan as a combat medic.

His 20 years of service, and his last tour to Iraq changed his life forever.

Stone is a decorated veteran. He has been honored with several awards including a bronze star, and the meritorious award. The honors keep coming.

"This award, this is my purple heart for getting wounded in combat," said Sgt. First Class Stone.{}"It's not something I really wanted. But every time I see it, it reminds me that, this is what happened."

March 15, 2007 was when Stone's life changed forever.

"I just remember waking up in the hospital in Landstuhl, Germany," said Stone.

Stone was nearly 2,800 miles from when he was injured in Iraq.

"I was really unsure of what was going on. Because I can remember yanking wires out of me and pulling IVs out of my arm and having the doctors and nurses rush into the room," said Stone.

Confusion quickly become reality as Stone{}was given tragic news.

"I was paralyzed. And they asked me how I felt about that," said Stone.

The day he was injured, Stone was clearing the roads of mines and bombs when his unit was ambushed, and their truck was blown up.

"Spinal cord injury basically from chest, down," Stone said.

A broken pelvis and traumatic brain injury that still affects his memory to this day. Stone says he is blessed to be alive.

"I haven't let my injuries stop me from doing the things I want to do," said Stone.

Stone is still very active.

This year, he took home second place in pool in the National Veterans Wheelchair Games.

"I'm limited on some of the things I can do, but anything I can do, I get out and do it. I don't sit around the house and I don't get depressed. I'm just enjoying life," said Stone.

He married the woman of his dreams in July and has a loving family who he can count on.

"I have a big support system," said Stone.

He is also very active, but do not try to call him a hero.

"I don't feel like a hero. I feel like someone who did his job," said Stone.

Stone{}retired from the military in 2008 after 20 years of active duty. Besides being active in athletics, he is taking online classes at Liberty University and plans to one day be a school counselor.