By Molly Moser
To peek down a gravel road and into the quiet country life of rural Garnavillo resident Adam Eilers, you’d never know that his not-so-distant past contains wheelchairs, surgeries, and hospital beds. Surrounded by fields of corn, his nine-acre property is a picture of Iowa serenity. A creaking, rusted windmill turns slowly, a cow and a goat graze, and two friendly dogs greet visitors at the door.
Two and a half years ago, a bomb detonated near the armored vehicle that contained Army National Guard Corporal Adam Eilers and two other Iowa National Guard Soldiers. Eilers spent nine months recovering from his injuries, and now, it seems, he’s settled back into civilian life.
“I bought this place at the end of June last year,” he says, “but I didn’t move in till that October.” In just three months, with the help of friends and family, Eilers’ house got a complete overhaul. It required new wiring, windows, and plumbing; removal of multiple layers of wallpaper; and an entire revamp of the kitchen and ground floor bathroom.
Though he lives a peaceful life near his family and childhood friends, one doesn’t have to look far to see the impact of his 2010 deployment to Afghanistan. He points out the cedar walls and heated tile floors in his bathroom, then notes, “The shower is handicap accessible. I’ve been in a wheelchair, so I know what that’s like.”