After the events of 9/11, Sergeant Michael McNaughton enlisted in the Louisiana Army National Guard. He was assigned to the 769th Engineer Battalion, HSC, Combat Heavy, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He was deployed to Bagram, Afghanistan in July 2002. During Operation Enduring Freedom, McNaughton lost his right leg and two fingers when he stepped on a land mine while performing his duties. He was awarded the Purple Heart, Bronze Star and Louisiana War Cross.
The phone call came around 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 17, 2006. “I’m looking for the home of Ryan McCurdy, this is Corporal Clifton Trotter I was with him in Iraq.” I (his mother) replied, “Yes, this is his home.” Corporal Trotter said, “He saved my life!”