US ARMY SFC (RETIRED) MICAH WELINTUKONIS
Micah Welintukonis joined the US Army in 1994, and served with the 174th Infantry Brigade out of Fort Dix, New Jersey. He has deployments to Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2012 while was serving in Kandahar, Afghanistan at the Provincial Headquarters as the NCOIC and Senior Medic of a 12 man SFAT team, a motorcycle bomb breached the compound walls. The Taliban funneled in with automatic weapons, grenades and several suicide bombers. Micah sustained a gunshot wound to his left wrist and was subsequently severely injured by a direct hit from a suicide bomber attack while attempting to rescue others. As a result, over two dozen pieces of shrapnel shattered Micah’s left arm. Shrapnel also penetrated his protective vest and went into the abdomen resulting in a bowel resection, blast gut, and blast lung with pulmonary embolism. In addition he took on small amounts of shrapnel to the face, shoulder and hip, and suffered a mild traumatic brain injury from the suicide attack. PJs treated the wounds and medevaced Micah to safety for immediate surgery. He was in a medically induced coma and had to be resuscitated twice.
Micah is still recovering after nine years of physical therapy, occupational therapy and at least several surgeries and procedures. He has heterotopic ossification (bone growth from small imbedded fragments of bone in his left arm which pushes on his nerve), in addition to nerve damage in left hand/wrist. His back issues can’t be properly diagnosed because his injuries prevent the use of an MRI. Micah continues to have left knee issues resulting in the need for it to be periodically drained, and steroid injections. Micah continues to live with dietary restrictions and general physical pain due to the injuries sustained back in 2012.
Micah was built to serve. Post injuries he started a local charity for first responders, served as Vice Chairman of the Coventry Town Council, and Director of Legislative Affairs for a state veterans organization.
Micah was awarded the Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal with Valor, and has been recognized in congress. He was invited to attended President Obama’s State of The Union Address, and has received White House recognition.
Micah has also volunteered his time and personal money bringing basic necessities to several east coast communities devastated by hurricanes. He continues to advocate for veterans and first responders, and is active in helping others during local natural disasters. Micah is also a key note speaker in which he accepts no honorarium.
During the COVID-19 pandemic Micah saw the toilet paper crisis and purchased $900 worth of supplies and gave it to the community. He subsequently purchased 1,000 masks and gave them to local first responders. Later he volunteered his time with masks for heroes CT and delivered an additional 25,000 masks across over 30 CT municipalities. His last act was purchasing 40 Christmas trees for first responders, nurses and veterans for Christmas 2020.
Micah has two children ages six and eight.