War veteran tries to move on from his injuriesby Tom Weber, Minnesota Public Radio
A former Minnesota soldier who was injured in Iraq last year is getting ready to come home.
In March Minnesota Public Radio reported on Scott Adams and his family. They've spent more than a year at Fort Sam Houston in Texas, where Scott has been recovering from a host of injuries. Now, Adams and his wife Susie are back in the Twin Cities house-hunting.
Wayzata, Minn. — Scott Adams liked the photos he'd seen of a house in the Minneapolis suburb of Wayzata, but as he sat in its rain soaked driveway earlier this month, he was expecting the worst.
"Just to give you fair warning, supposedly the house stinks real bad, because the people smoked really bad, and they had cats and dogs, and the ac hasn't been run in about a year, so it might stink in there," said Scott Adams.
But it was a pleasant surprise when he and his wife Susie finally went in.
"It's not as bad as I thought it was going to be," said Scott.
Home buying is new for Scott and Susie Adams. They planned on renting until Scott retired from the Army, and that wasn't supposed to be for a few more years.
But a roadside bomb near Baghdad changed that last January.
When Adams woke up, he'd been in a coma for a few weeks, and he was burned on over nearly half of his body. His back was broken in eight places, and a blood clot ran the entire length of one leg. He was on his sixth tour of duty at the time, and that would be the last.
The Adams are now awaiting the paperwork that will officially retire Scott with a pension built on 21 years of service. But the first order of business is to find a place to live in Minnesota this month, so the Adams' three teenage sons can start school on time.
"They need to be back where they're in a comfort zone, and Wayzata is that comfort zone," said Susie Adams.
Susie Adams is standing in the basement of a ranch-style house. She likes this house, but there are extra considerations.
Scott prefers a one-story, because it's easier to maneuver with a cane and wheelchair. They both drive SUVs, because he fits better into them, so they need a big garage. And he needs a handicapped-accessible bathroom.
The key, though, is Minnesota. The Adams have spent their adult lives moving: From Kentucky to Germany to Florida to Michigan. They're ready to call some place "home," and their eyes are set on Wayzata.
"Every time I deployed when I lived here, this community was 110 percent better than my hometown in Florida," said Scott Adams.
When he wasn't deployed, Scott Adams worked as a volunteer firefighter. And even though nearly half his body is scarred with tight, pink skin that covers burns, he wants to live close enough to meet the residency requirement, so he can some day rejoin the Wayzata Fire Department.
He doesn't spend a lot of time reliving the bombing.
"It's just a job. You interviewing me. You can get injured... But you were doing your job," said Adams. "Thankfully, I'm still here to talk about it. Two people in my platoon that didn't come home. Still depressed."
Adams still needs more surgeries and still gets migraines that sometimes require a hospital visit.
After their house hunting trip to Minnesota, another migraine sent Scott to the emergency room in Texas. Now he might need a CAT scan to see why he's getting more and more migraines.
Still, you'd be hard pressed to find them feeling sorry for themselves.
"There's a future, he's not in a box. Of course, a lot to live for," said Adams.
In the end, the Adams didn't bid on the Wayzata house, and instead they made an offer in Maple Grove.
It might not meet the Wayzata fire department residency requirement, but it also doesn't need as much work. At this point, though, they haven't heard yet whether their offer hass been accepted, and time is running short if they're to get their children enrolled in a Minnesota school before the first day.
- Morning Edition, 08/12/2008, 7:25 a.m.