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US Navy EOD1 Andrew Bottrell joined the military in July 2004 right after high school. He enlisted as a submarine mechanic but quickly found out was not what he wanted to do long term. He served in 2006 on the USS Santa Fe SSN 763. In 2008, Andrew got orders to Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) school. The school was difficult and has a high attrition rate, but it was well worth it. In 2009, he successfully graduated and reported to EOD Mobile Unit 3 in San Diego and was eventually assigned to a Navy Special Warfare platoon. There he did his pre-deployment workup with Seal Team 1, got married, and then deployed to Afghanistan in July 2011 with Seal Team 10.
On October 1, 2011, in Afghanistan, while conducting combat operations Andrew was in a vehicle that was struck by an improvised explosive device (IED). This resulted in the amputation of both legs and his left arm. Andrew was flown out of Afghanistan through Germany and back to Bethesda, where he stayed for about six weeks before transferring to San Diego to finish recovery. That is where he received his prosthetics and learned to use them. Becoming proficient with prosthetics requires a lot of hard work, practice, and dedication. It also requires a lot of time in a prosthetic clinic adjusting the fit and function of the prosthetics. Andrew medically retired from the Navy in November 2013.
Since then Andrew has become passionate about improving his situation mentally and physically every single day. He spends his time reading, working out, taking care of family, hunting, and cooking meat. In 2016 Andrew and his wife were blessed with a little girl who is now 5 years old.
“My advice based on my life experiences is to always dominate your life – do not let your life dictate what you do or how you live. If you do not like your situation, change it. Do not blame somebody else for it and do not wait for somebody else to do something about it. You are not entitled to anything, only what you make your own. Take control of your own life, because life is what you make of it, so make the best of it.”