Army veteran overcomes debilitating injuries to help others

A deputy and Army veteran who’s doctors said might never be able to run again just ran a 10k—all to help other wounded veterans in Southwest Florida.

As the clock counted down, Deputy Kyle Kmetetz remembered why the race meant so much to him.

“It took quite a bit of rehab, over a year or so before I was able to do physical things again,” he said.

Kmetetz served in the Army before settling down in SWFL. He served multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

And his life changed in 2004.

“I was shot and blown up; suffered some brain damage,” he said.

He says the injuries caused major equilibrium issues, making keeping his balance a big obstacle.

But that didn’t stop him.

After a lot of therapy, Kmetetz says he went back to serve eight more times.

“I returned to Iraq six more times and Afghanistan twice,” he said.

Saturday’s 10k Run to Home Base was an event to honor veterans and their families. He completed more than six miles in just 55 minutes and 25 seconds alongside dozens of his fellow service men and women.

The second annual Run to Home Base event helped raise money for Wounded Warriors along with the Boston Red Sox.

The organization works with hospitals around the country to provide care for veterans with physical and mental wounds.

Reporter:Nicole Valdes
Writer:Erica Brown
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