Andre Burgos spent eight years as an infantryman before becoming a sergeant at the age of 21, in charge of 42 fellow Marines in combat. But one of the hardest moments in Andre's life didn't happen while serving in the Marines. It happened in Massachusetts.
"I remember being in my helmet, looking at wet concrete, thinking I was going to die," says Andre of the moment that changed his life forever. On June 29, 2011, Andre lost part of his right leg and part of his hand in a hit-and-run.
"I was coming from Springfield visiting some friends," Andre recalls. "I was hit, knocked off my motorcycle by a hit-and-run driver. I was doing the speed limit."
Andre was able to crawl across the road, only to be hit again. He says he was resuscitated twice in the hospital.
Andre works at Motorcycles of Manchester in Foxborough and says he had only worked there for a matter of months when the accident happened. His boss continued to pay him his weekly salary and never asked him when he was coming back to work. Andre says his boss also gave him an iPad for entertainment purposes while he was hospitalized.
Andre says the two things that helped him through were his mother and being a Marine. He says he refuses to be an empty shell and wants his name to be associated with good.
"My father always told me you are as good as your name, [the] most important thing in the world," says Andre. "I don't want Andre Burgos to be associated with sadness or with pain. I want Andre Burgos to be associated with power, to strength, to authority, leadership — and I will always give off that persona."
Over one year after the accident, Andre says he can still row, go rock climbing and ski. He plans to try snowboarding this year and hopes to participate in the Paralympics.