Monday, December 29, 2008

saw this in the courant the other day

and i thought it was a great story. i'm sorry mr tinsley got shot (more than sorry) but i am so very happy he's not only found work, but been kicking butt at his job. shout out to the va and mike wolf for helping mr tinsley and giving mr tinsley a chance, along the way

Disabled Veteran In Bloomfield Builds Bikes As He Rebuilds His Life

|The Hartford Courant

BLOOMFIELD — - Brian Tinsley lost a lot that day in Afghanistan.

The bullet that entered one of his temples and exited the other took away his sight, his sense of smell and part of his sense of taste.

But it didn't take away his ability to find a silver lining.

"Someone else might not have survived," said Tinsely.

Tinsley, 25, joined the Army after graduating from Bloomfield High School in 2001. His goal was to serve his country, learn to be a mechanic and take that skill with him back to civilian life. Tinsley was doing both, providing special forces support in 2003, when he was shot.

The bullet also took away his memory of that day.

"I don't have any recollection," he said. "I regained consciousness in Walter Reed Hospital about a month later."

But Tinsley didn't lose his desire to live an independent, productive life.

Tinsley went to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' Eastern Blind Rehabilitation Center in West Haven to learn how to maintain his mobility and read Braille, and even helped Habitat for Humanity build a house in Hartford.

"It'll drive you nuts if you just sit and do nothing," he said.

Tinsley eventually found his way back to a local bicycle shop he frequented in his youth when he rode stunt bikes. But this time around, he wasn't looking for parts, he was looking for work. Specifically, he wanted to build bikes...........

photo: BRIAN TINSLEY, 25, of Bloomfield, was shot in the head while in Afghanistan on military duty in 2003 and lost his eyesight. Tinsley now works at the Bloomfield Bicycle and Repair Shop in Bloomfield and was hired by Mike Wolf, left, owner of the store, who said, "We hope that he'll be with us a long time." (ROSS TAYLOR / HARTFORD COURANT / November 13, 2008)

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