Severely wounded veteran keynote speaker at Veterans Day event at Ecumenical Center of San Antonio

Ricardo Perez Ramos vows to ‘not leave one disabled veteran behind’

SAN ANTONIO – Having lost both legs in an IED explosion in Afghanistan, Ricardo Perez Ramos, a retired U.S. Army sergeant, slowly walked on his prosthesis to the podium as the keynote speaker at a Veterans Day event at the Ecumenical Center of San Antonio.

Perez, who is from a small town in Massachusetts, said he is committed to helping other veterans like himself who have been physically and emotionally scarred by war.

Perez said he grew despondent, having undergone much of what other veterans endured. He was critically burned in the IED explosion and suffered serious internal injuries.

As a result of his traumatic brain injury, Perez was put in a coma for a month to help reduce the swelling in his brain. That’s when Perez said he then woke up Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio.

“I was in Afghanistan, then San Antonio,” he said.

His left leg was amputated below the knee, and he decided to have his right leg removed.

Having survived the ordeal thanks to his wife’s devotion and the love of his children, Perez said he’s vowed to “not leave one disabled veteran behind.”

“If you can help one, at least one, to not commit suicide, that’s a win-win situation for me,” he said.

But even then, Perez said, “One is too many.”

“There is many people, many resources. There is many options better than committing suicide,” Perez said. “You have to live for those that can’t.”

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About the Authors

Jessie Degollado has been with KSAT since 1984. She is a general assignments reporter who covers a wide variety of stories. Raised in Laredo and as an anchor/reporter at KRGV in the Rio Grande Valley, Jessie is especially familiar with border and immigration issues. In 2007, Jessie also was inducted into the San Antonio Women's Hall of Fame.

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