Self-proclaimed country boy, Derick grew up as an avid athlete in Greenfield, Missouri. His family has a long tradition of military service, and in 2000, Derick decided to enlist in the United States Army.
On the evening of September 13, 2003, while on patrol in Mosul, Iraq, Derick was driving the rear Humvee when the caravan was ambushed by insurgents with rocket propelled grenades (RPG’s), grenades, and small arms fire. A grenade was thrown inside Derick’s vehicle and landed between his legs. In a daze, and unable to steer away from the oncoming truck, he bailed out of the truck and landed face-down on the sidewalk.
In pain and unable to roll over, Derick could not see his injuries and assess the damage. He later learned that his body had taken 95% of the blow from the grenade. His right leg was blown off below the knee. The left leg suffered significant tissue loss, the heel bone was exposed and more than a dozen pieces of shrapnel were embedded in the bottom of his foot. Derick spent more than a year in Walter Reed Army Medical Center and underwent more than 20 surgeries before coming home and eventually decided to have his left leg amputated as well.
Derick was awarded the Purple Heart, Army Accommodation Medal, and the Army Achievement Medal for his service. Derick, his wife Stefanie, daughter Isabella and new baby boy Wyatt moved into their new, fully adaptable home in Derick’s hometown in December of 2015.
He works for the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and loves serving The Lord and his community.