OTF Soldier Story for October 19, 2009 - Sgt. 1st Class Gregory Stube
Current Unit: Special Operations Command Public Affairs Office
Current Position: Special Forces Medical Sergeant
Component: Active Army
Current Location: Fort Bragg, N.C.
Hometown: Memphis, Tenn.
Years of Service: 21
When Sgt. 1st Class Gregory Stube volunteered to deploy to Afghanistan in 2006, the Special Forces trained medic was expected to fill a civil affairs role. When he was asked to serve as the medic for an upcoming mission, he knew he had no other choice than to help the 3rd Special Forces Group. It was a decision that would change the course of the rest of his life.
On Sept. 6, 2006, as Stube was en route to set up a triage area for Soldiers wounded during the five-day Operation Medusa in Kandahar, his vehicle was hit by a remotely detonated improvised explosive device. A one-pound piece of shrapnel penetrated his leg, traveling through his pelvis and abdomen.
Despite his injuries, the NCO continued to focus on accomplishing the mission and the welfare of his fellow Special Forces Soldiers, even crawling out of the burning wreckage to fire his weapon at the enemy. Also, because he remained conscious throughout the incident, he was able to guide his fellow Soldiers through the care he needed, a benefit of his medical training. Reflecting on the day, Stube said he was not heroic, simply focused on self-preservation.
After being airlifted to Germany and eventually flown to Brook Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas, Stube had a long road to recovery ahead of him. In the past three years, he has undergone 17 procedures and surgeries. As a result of the shrapnel injury, Stube suffered devastating internal injuries, in addition to third-degree burns on his lower back and legs.
Throughout his recovery, he has chosen to focus on his capabilities instead of disabilities. The Soldier could have medically retired from the Army, but chose to use his story to help others. Stube is committed to helping other wounded warriors and their families get the care and support that they need.
"I've been very well cared for, and so, now I have to occupy myself in any way I can to continue to support that system and make sure that Soldiers who are wounded behind me get the same kind of treatment that I did," said Stube.
A native of Memphis, Tenn., Stube is currently assigned to the Special Operations Command Public Affairs Office at Fort Bragg, N.C., and lives in Cameron, N.C., with his wife Donna and their young son, Gregory Jr. The Purple Heart and Bronze Star Medal recipient has more than 21 years of service in the Army, and followed in the footsteps of his father, who served in the Navy during Vietnam.