CRESTLINE — At a young age, 29-year-old Nick Vogt has learned to handle a great deal of adversity, and to find a positive outlook despite the immense setbacks he has been handed.
Vogt grew up in the Shelby Settlement area between Crestline and Shelby on Ohio 61, and attended Sacred Heart Catholic school. Raised in a devout Catholic family, he is the oldest of five children.
Very early in his life, Nick knew that he wanted a career in the military.
In 2006, he was accepted into West Point Academy, and in 2011 he was deployed to Afghanistan.
Soon after deployment, on November 12, 2011, he was on patrol and stepped on an IED which exploded upon impact. The injuries he suffered were life-altering, to say the least.
After being immediately treated at Khandahar, Afghanistan, Vogt was transported to Walter Reed Military Medical Center in Maryland. He lost both of his legs at the hips, and had a severe brain injury that resulted in a seizure disorder.
His life has never been the same. Most people would have given up after the numerous setbacks and health issues that came on after a result of such a devastating event.
But not Nick Vogt.
Perseverance and a dedicated faith have turned horrific circumstances into promise and hope.
In June of 2013, Nick met his future wife Lauren. They fell in love and married.
After the birth of their first child earlier this year, their new family has another bright spot in their future, thanks to the help of Hollywood celebrity Gary Sinise.
The Gary Sinise Foundation “honors America’s defenders, veterans, first responders, their families and those in need.”
The foundation has several different programs that focus on different areas to help the entire military family. One of those programs is called RISE., which stands for Restoring Independence Supporting Empowerment. Its mission is to provide specially-adapted smart homes for severely wounded veterans nationwide.
Lauren Vogt, who Nick affectionately calls his “PR representative,” decided to see what help she could find for Nick at home in order to help them live as close to a normal every day life as possible. In her research, she found out about The Gary Sinise Foundation.
Lauren applied to the RISE program, and while visiting her family in San Diego earlier this year, they got a phone call.
It was Gary Sinise.
He called personally to inform the Vogt’s that they would be receiving a custom built home in Ohio.
“He was so easy to talk to, and very down to earth,” said Vogt.
In planning for the new home, Vogt himself drew up an idea for what they would like the outside of the home to look like, as well as some ideas for the interior. His ideas and suggestions were sent to an architect who returned a design.
At Tuesday’s press conference, Vogt was asked what he will look forward to the most about the life changes he will get from this new home.
“The bathroom,” Vogt said with a big smile.
The bathroom in the custom built home will allow for Nick to lie down to shower. It will have a heated transfer bench to get him in and out of the shower also.
“It’s amazing how quickly you adapt to everyday life after an injury like this, but this house means a lot,” Nick said. “Life will be much less distracting!”