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Triple amputee Airman’s wife running for Maxim cover to raise money for wounded vets

Senior Airman (retired) Brian Kolfage and his wife Ashley. (Brian Kolfage/Facebook)
September 28, 2018

A Texas Airman who defied the odds of living a normal life after he survived the worst wounds imaginable works with his wife to give back to military families in need.

Brian Kolfage suffered the worst injuries of any surviving Air Force member in U.S. history. Since then, he and his wife Ashley have worked to give back, and she’s in the running to be on the cover of Maxim Magazine to raise additional money for wounded veterans, Military Times reported.

Brian deployed to Iraq shortly after he met his now-wife, Ashley, at a Chili’s in San Angelo where she was employed as a hostess. On September 11, 2004, a 107mm enemy rocket struck a yard away from Brian, shredding both legs, collapsing his lung, and taking off his right hand.

36 hours after Brian’s injuries, he landed at Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington and underwent numerous hours of surgery to save his life. Brian was in a medically induced coma but once he awoke, he fought diligently to recover through rehabilitation.

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11 months later, he was released to go home to his Tuscon residence.

After his discharge, Brian got in touch with Ashley through Facebook. She had heard about Brian’s injury and was shocked and concerned what his quality of life would be like.

Ashley took a flight to visit Brian and soon discovered he would be just fine and would live a satisfying life. The two eventually fell in love and married on May 28, 2011. They now have two children.

Today the pair are trying to give back after an organization built a custom home for them that assists military members who have been injured.

“It takes the weight off our shoulders to know we have a forever home that functions for our whole family. This means so much to see people raising money for our veterans,” Ashley said.

Ashley is currently a contender for Maxim Magazine’s cover girl, so she can use the $25,000 proceeds to help Homes for Wounded Warriors Foundation. You can vote for her here.

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She added, “My goal is to raise the most money. I would love to win [the cover], but when I found out that [Maxim] was raising money for wounded warriors, it made me want to do it even more. I love that Maxim supports our heroes.”

Brian is a motivational speaker who shares “a powerful message of being resilient in the face of adversity.” The couple frequently visit Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington to offer encouragement to other wounded military families.

In 2014, Brian graduated at the top of his class with an architectural degree from the University of Arizona and was also presented with the George C. Lang Award for Courage.

“Even with Brian’s injury, we try to live a normal life and do things just like everyone else. He still surfs like he did in Hawaii,” Ashley said.

“Brian’s injury has made us stronger because we have to have patience no matter what. Brian saw a lot of people during his recovery who couldn’t even remember their own family. It made us realize what really is important in life,” Ashley said.