Soldier wounded in Afghanistan returns home to San Diego

Christopher Montera injured in Taliban attack

SAN DIEGO - A soldier who was wounded in Afghanistan has returned home to continue his rehabilitation.

In an instant, an explosion changed Christopher Montera's life forever. Montera was in Afghanistan in March working on a demolition mission.

"We were destroying a wall that the Taliban were using for covering concealment to stage attacks on our base," he said.

10News obtained dramatic video that was filmed that day in Afghanistan.

"The Taliban started off an attack with 82 millimeter mortar," said Montera.

The video shows him being carried out on a stretcher. The medic in his unit was also hit and suffered injuries to the ear.

"He operated through the pain and got me out of there," said Montera.

Montera said he does not remember details.

"I don't really remember any of this," he said. "It's just hearsay of what I've been told."

His mother April remembers getting that dreaded call.    

"There are no words to really describe what that feels like as a mother," she said. "The first question you ask is: 'Is he alive?'"

After the explosion, Montera was airlifted to Germany. Sixty percent of his body was burned.

He suffered a fractured neck and lost both of his legs after an infection.

"We almost lost him," said his mother. "He was on a lung bypass machine for about 10 days."

However, he never gave up and continued to fight. Now, the 32-year old soldier back home in San Diego where he grew up.

He said he is ready to move on and has a list of activities he would like to try.

"I'd like to surf, but I mean, you know, skydiving, I don't know," he said.

Montera will now undergo physical therapy at Balboa Naval Hospital. He will also be fitted with prosthetic legs.     

His unit just finished their deployment and will be back in the United States soon.

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