22-year-old Army vet recognized

MAYFAIR - November 11, 2009

22-year-old Kevin McCloskey walked to the podium to be honored today and that was an accomplishment for the young Army veteran of Mayfair.

Kevin lost both legs below the knees in a roadside explosion last year while serving in Afghanistan.

"At first I thought it was going to be really hard for me to get back to who I was. It's not been like that," Kevin said.

The North Catholic grad spent 15 months undergoing surgery and physical therapy in San Antonio, Texas before returning home to Philadelphia two months ago.

The former high school wrestler has taken life by the horns.

"Every day is a different day. Some days I wake up completely happy and I feel great about myself. Some days you have your bad days, just like any other person," Kevin said.

Kevin's healing has been a family affair.

His sister, a published author, shared a poem inspired by her brother's experience during an inspirational talk with local students.

"Glancing over his body so wounded and weak, my senses were seized, I was unable to speak," Michelle McCloskey read aloud.

"When all this happened we weren't sure how he was going to handle it. Like how at 20 years old do you wake up and realize I don't have legs anymore?" Joann McCloskey, Kevin's mother, said. "He just is amazing in his adaptation and how he has thrived."

Kevin has adjusted well to prosthetics and, so far, to life after his injuries.

"I feel great today. I felt great yesterday. And I hope I feel great tomorrow," Kevin said.

Kevin plans to study massage therapy and when healed enough, perhaps take up cycling.

Clearly, his philosophy is rooted not in what has passed, but in what lies ahead.

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