He went on a mission because he liked challenges, wanted to prove himself and help others. He was on the 1st rotation of the Polish Military Contingent in Iraq. He was a gunner-scout in the Brigade Combat Group formed on the basis of the 12th Mechanized Brigade in Szczecin.
In December 2003, his patrol was on their way back to the base in Al-Hilla. Near Al-Mahavil, under his Honker vehicle, the remotely controlled device exploded. At the same time, the column was shelled from shoulder-launched RPG anti-tank grenade launchers and gun machines. The fire exchange took over 20 minutes. Afterwards, four 120-milimeter shells, ready for use, were found at the site. It took American sappers several hours to deactivate them. That he did not know until much later, however. He was hit in the ribs, and shell fragments went in his right shoulder and legs. His hand was torn, his shoulder bone and jaw were damaged. He was 22 years old, the moment when life begins. “Mine almost ended,” says Łukasz.
He spent several months in hospital. Three years had passed before he started to walk. He learnt how to walk again, step by step. How to live with the pain. Open wounds would not heal, and the transplanted organs – would not be taken. Changing bandages required anesthetic administered by an anesthesiologist. However, when Private Wojciechowski met his colleagues who had had their legs or arms amputated, he realized he should not pity himself because they were in a far worse situation.
“You hit the bottom to bounce back up,” he says. Today, as a soldier “capable for military service, with limitations,” he works as a military clerk in Kłodzko. He still needs rehabilitation, but he is again into sports. Before accident, he used to train fighting sports and running. Due to his injuries, he had to quit those disciplines, but he still swims and goes to the gym. “I also play football with my six-year-old son, and ride a bike in the mountains at a distance of 30-40 kilometers,” he says. Archery has also become one of his passions, as this was one of his boyhood dreams. “Sport makes me forget the pain,” he concludes. After trainings he has muscle ache, but this is a different kind of pain.
He thinks that, since he was born again after the accident, he has the mission: to show others that despite all the bad luck and high percentage of health impairment, you can do sports, try to live normally, and do not pity yourself.
For him, competing in the Invictus Games is on the one hand – fulfilling his dreams of sporting rivalry, and on the other hand – another challenge. He believes he can manage, although he aims high. After all, he is a fighter.
Health impairment: 60%
Missions: PMC Iraq 1st rotation
Discipline: swimming, indoor rowing, sitting volleyball, archery
autor zdjęć: Michał Niwicz