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Red, white, orange and blue: Veteran (and No. 1 Gator fan) visits occupational therapy students

Published: November 28th, 2012

Category: News

Pfc. Corey Garmon and Capt. Erik Johnson to talk about the Wounded Warrior Project

Pfc. Corey Garmon (left), a soldier wounded in Afghanistan, visited a class of occupational therapy students in the College of Public Health and Health Professions with occupational therapist Capt. Erik Johnson to talk about the Wounded Warrior Project.

Corey Garmon may be from Alabama, but he loves the Gators.

Garmon, a U.S. Army calvary scout, was decked out in orange-and-blue when he and Capt. Erik Johnson, an occupational therapist, visited UF occupational therapy students in the College of Public Health and Health Professions in October to speak about the Wounded Warrior Project. The Wounded Warrior Project provides services and programs to severely injured members of the armed forces.

Garmon, 24, was injured on July 11 in Afghanistan when an improvised explosive device, or IED, exploded. His left leg was immediately amputated below the knee, and he later decided to have his right leg amputated, too. His left hand also was damaged.

After the IED exploded, Garmon’s fellow soldiers used Gator football as a way to keep Garmon awake and distracted from his injury.

“He just kept asking me about Florida football because the season hadn’t started yet,” Garmon said. “It took 58 minutes for the chopper to arrive.”

Johnson and Garmon visited the class to speak to students about learning opportunities the Wounded Warrior Project provides and the role of occupational therapy in the military. Johnson told students about his experience helping injured veterans adjust to life with prosthetics.

The occupational therapy students wore orange and blue clothing to honor Garmon’s love for the Gators.

The presentation was followed by a Q-and-A session with Garmon and Johnson.

When asked about his future career plans, Garmon said he would like to become an occupational therapist. His top pick for grad school is UF, of course.

By Mina Radman, first published in The Post