. . Baldwin County Home Builders Association Charitable Foundation - Our Hero
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   Lifelong Daphne resident Paul Douglas Rains Jr. was just 17 when he joined the US Army. After shipping out on May 31, 2002, he underwent training in Alaska and became a member of the Army’s Airborne Infantry. He served in Afghanistan without injury. But on Jan. 3, 2006, during his second tour of duty, this time in Iraq, he was critically injured by an IED (improvised explosive device).

While Rains (known by family and friends as “PD”) was not aware of it at the time, he later learned that he had suffered  shrapnel wounds from top to bottom on his right side, with one piece of shrapnel piercing his liver and one of his lungs. The wounds were so severe that his family was called and informed that Rains was not likely to survive.

“I don’t know what happened in the field hospital, but they saved my life,” he says. “God was with me that day.”

In the weeks and months that followed, as Rains was first sent to a hospital in Germany, then to Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, D.C., and eventually returned to his hometown, he showed he is truly a fighter.

“The doctor at Walter Reed told me I wouldn’t walk for three to six months,” he recalled, “I told him I’d be walking in two or three weeks and he just laughed at me.”

Rains got the last laugh two weeks later when he was able to take his first steps on his own again. Eventually he returned home to Baldwin County and went to work as an equipment operator until the pain from his wounds proved too difficult to overcome.

Baldwin County Home Builders Association Charitable Foundation