While serving on an assignment in Afghanistan on October 23, 2010, Marine Cpl. Juan Dominguez landed on a buried bomb after slipping down an embankment and lost both of his legs and his right arm in an explosion.
On the way to the hospital, he prayed that “if it was God’s will, then take me now.” He was at peace with losing his life in that moment. But it was not his time to die.
As the 28-year-old veteran recovers, he often tells people not to be sad, because he’d do it again for his country. “The Taliban’s purpose was to kill me, but I survived,” he said.
Dominguez has spent months undergoing multiple surgeries and grueling physical and occupational therapy sessions since that life-changing October day. To help aid in his recovery, the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation and its partner, the Gary Sinise Foundation, are donating a new “smart home” for him to share with his wife, Alexis, and his 9-year-old daughter, Victoria.
Dominguez and his family will receive the house on September 11.
“I consider this foundation like part of my family,” Dominguez said. “They’ve taken great care of me, with no strings attached, and I couldn’t have asked for more.”
Dominguez will receive the keys to the home at 6:59 a.m. PST, the exact time Siller died 11 years ago in the World Trade Center’s south tower.
“Giving Juan a measure of his life back after all he has done, on the anniversary of the day our brother died, means the world to us,” said Frank Siller, chairman of the Tunnel to Towers Foundation.
Siller’s cousin John Hodge said that what impresses him most about Dominguez is his positive attitude through such adversity. “This guy is a role model for all of us, and he’s deserving of great things,” he noted.