It’s important to remember that many veterans don’t come back from war the same way they went in. And that’s why we have to do all we can to help these people.
For five years, Anthony Farve was an infantryman for the United States Army. These kind of soldiers are constantly on the front lines, and Farve was someone that could hold his own.
In fact, since he was deployed with his military father in the Middle East, Farve made it his personal mission to watch over him.
“I felt like I was protecting him while I was there,” Farve told CBS News.
But this all changed on St. Patty’s Day in 2007.
That day, Farve’s patrol vehicle was hit by an IED in Baghdad, Iraq.
To make things worse, his father wasn’t able to see him immediately; it took about two months for them to meet. One can imagine the toll of not seeing your family after an incident like that.
Even after returning home to the United States, it took Farve awhile to cope with this injury, to the point where he became depressed.
“I was overweight,” he said. ” . . .living in my parent’s basement. No job, no nothing.”
It’s hard enough for a soldier to assimilate back into civilian life after coming back from a war, but the loss of a limb made it more difficult for Farve.
The leg was just one problem on the laundry list he was dealing with at the time, and Farve couldn’t find a way to get out the rut he was in.
That is until two things helped him turn everything around.
The first was his eventual wife, Sarah.
The woman, who also served in the military, had an active lifestyle that inspired Farve to get up and start doing things again.
And this led to the 2nd thing that changed his life.
The second thing ended up being wheelchair basketball.
A sport he had previously known nothing about had suddenly become his passion, and Farve credits it with helping him turn things around.
“Wheelchair basketball completely changed my life,” he said.
The training for the sport completely took over his life, as he started practicing six days out of the week.
And while being so immersed into this sport, Farve found himself again.
His basketball team was a team he could finally be apart of, which he had sorely missed given he was used to being on a team in the Army.
The National Basketball Wheelchair Association says that after playing for a year on a team in Kansas, Farve now plays for the University of Arizona, and he’s in his second season there.
In the time since he’s joined the team, Farve not only lost over 100 pounds, but he won back-to-back gold medals for the Army wheelchair basketball team.
“I’m accomplishing so much I didn’t think I could do,” Farve said. “I just was somebody else to get inspired.”
Farve was able to conquer his depression after coming back from Iraq, and hopefully, his story can inspire others who have a hard time coming back home from war.
Even if it took Farve a long time to recover mentally, what matters is that he’s following his passion, and he looks happier than ever.