April 22, 2021
Lucas Cifka, who is medically retired from the U.S. Army, received the keys on April 22 from Martin Duarte, a former master gunnery sergeant who served 30 years with the U.S. Marine Corps and now works as program outreach coordinator with Wounded Warriors Family Support. The donation is part of the group’s Mobility Is Freedom program, which provides modified Ford vehicles for combat-wounded veterans.
Cifka was severely injured in May 2013 after he stepped on a pressure-plated IED while on foot patrol in the Logar province of eastern Afghanistan. The six-year veteran was deployed to Forward Operating Base Shank when the incident occurred.
He spent several years recovering at Walter Reed National Military Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland before relocating to Texas.
A native of Washington state, Cifka moved to the west side of Canyon Lake, Texas, near Spring Branch, in 2017. He said he decided to retire to the area due to its scenery, weather, “nicer people,” good Comal ISD schools, and lower tax rates.
The Canyon Lake area also is close to Brooke Army Medical Center near San Antonio.
Cifka is a full-time dad to an eight- and two-year-old. He also consults with various law-enforcement agencies as an instructor during his spare time.
Wounded Warriors Family Support said it learned of Cifka’s injuries through the Virginia-based Driver Rehabilitation Center.
“I had just come back to the hospital to do another surgery recently and they heard that I was back in town,” Cifka said.
The Mobility Is Freedom program aims to enhance the quality of life for combat-wounded veterans by providing freedom and independence in their everyday lives.
“Our belief is that given a properly equipped vehicle for their individual needs, combat-wounded veterans will have the freedom to live a productive and quality life with their family,” said Wounded Warriors Family Support CEO and President Kate McCauley.
Wounded Warriors Family Support is an independent, nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide support for the families of those who have been wounded, injured or killed during combat operations. The charity is run by combat veterans for combat veterans, “healing the wounds that medicine cannot.”