Local community rallies behind soldier injured in Afghanistan

Sgt. Christopher Montera grew up in San Diego

SAN DIEGO - A local fishing community is helping a soldier heal from severe injuries he sustained in Afghanistan.

Sgt. Christopher Montera's life changed forever when an explosion burned more than 60 percent of his body.

April Montera will never forget the call she received on March 16, 2012, about her son.

"I have never prayed so hard in my life. I was literally on my knees for hours leading on that plane going to Germany," said Montera.

Montera, 32, grew up in San Diego and spent most of his childhood sportfishing with his family.

However, shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, he traded in that life for one in the U.S. Army.

"It was a choice I never dreamed he would make, but we supported him 100 percent," his mother said.

After the explosion, Christopher Montera was airlifted to Germany. On top of his severe burns, he also suffered a fractured neck and lost both of his legs after an infection.

Montera, however, never gave up and continued his fight to recover.

Now, the local sportfishing community he grew up is holding a fundraiser Monday at Bali Hai Restaurant.

"It's real easy to see that it could have been one of my sons," said Larry Baumann, the owner of Bali Hai who knew Montera as a teenager. Baumann's two sons also fished with Montera.

Montera, who has been deployed four times, will be returning to San Diego next month to continue his recovery at Naval Medical Center San Diego.

He said his new goal in life is to walk again.

Find out more about Montera's recovery and the upcoming fundraiser at http://christophermonterasupport.com.

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