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Injured veteran gains closure from bin Laden's demise

Posted May 2, 2011

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— The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq changed Wilmington native Joey Bozik irreversibly. Physically, the triple amputee will never do many of the things he loved to do as a young Army sergeant, but emotionally, he tries to stay positive and focused.

"What is my other choice? I could sit at home and feel sorry for myself, or I could go out and try to live the rest of my life the best way I can," Bozik said.

In October 2004, Bozik's vehicle rolled over an improvised explosive device in Iraq while he was protecting his commanding general. His injuries sent him home.

He had previously deployed to Afghanistan in 2002 and came home discouraged that bin Laden remained at large.

"When you come home and say, 'Oh, we still haven't got him yet,' there's still that underlying frustration that is there," he said.

joey bozik Injured veteran gains closure from bin Laden's demise

Bozik was part of a security detail at the Pentagon in 2001, one week before a hijacked plane plowed through it on September 11, killing 184 people. He said he was surprised to hear about bin Laden's death, but gained closure from the news.

"I guess I kind of thought it was one of those things where he was just going to go away on his own, disappear or die," Bozik said. 

"To hear that the manhunt was still on, and that they never gave up, and that they were still looking for him and finally got him was a pleasant surprise," he added.

Bozik's life has changed dramatically since he lost three limbs seven years ago, but he sees a bright future ahead.

"I always tell people that this is the best and worst thing that's even happened to me because serving in the military has given me so much and it's also taken a lot from me at the same time," he said.

Bozik, 32, is pursuing a criminal psychology degree at Central Carolina Community College while he looks for work.


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  • aprilpendergrass May 3, 2011

    I live in the neighborhood adjacent to Joey and my son's have had the pleasure of talking to him on a number of occasions. What a wonderful spirit. Great man. The war may have taken something from him physically but it couldn't take his spirit. Thank you for your service and for taking the time to speak with our young people. You truly are an inspiration!!!!

  • lakeyk1 May 3, 2011

    Joey Bozik....to say thank you doesn't sound like enough for all your sacrifice and what you have lost. You are doing the best for yourself at this time in your life and that is to press onward. To give up, as you say "feel sorry for yourself" would be the worst type of enabler to you mentally and physically. You still have a great deal of living to do and alot to give. I wish you the best with your college and career pursuit and know that you will accompolish your goals. I salute you and God Bless. lakeyk1

  • Pseudonym May 3, 2011


    You may be oldr, but you sure ain't wizr. Leave politics out of this story.

  • albertleon7 May 3, 2011

    Thank you for your service!

  • FireFaerie May 3, 2011

    Usually when drastic change happens in a persons life, it opens doors to allow them to help others change their life for the better as well. Joey, you are an amazing, brave man and you are going to do wonderful things in the future. Godspeed,

  • oldrwizr May 3, 2011

    The assassination was good enough for this brave warrior. It will never be good enough for the right wing haters. And who cares? They're worthless.

  • BEACH May 3, 2011

    Thank u for your service and bless u that u are strong enough to go on.

  • working for deadbeats May 3, 2011

    Thank you, Sir.

  • Serendipity5 May 3, 2011

    Joey, Thank you for all you sacrificed for your country. May God bless you richly.

  • WritNEWlaws May 3, 2011

    Never give up! Very proud that you served this country for all Americans. I will keep you in my prayers and I wish you the best in pursuing your degree.