HARKER HEIGHTS  — If the bullet that passed through former Army Sgt. Paul Podhorn’s head had taken a different trajectory, by just a quarter of an inch in either direction, he wouldn’t be alive.

“My helmet definitely slowed the bullet down and my doctors say I am the luckiest man alive,” he said about being shot by a sniper during his deployment to Iraq in 2011 with the 1st Cavalry Division. “I’m very lucky to be alive, well and walking; and a lot of people don’t believe me until I show them the scar.”

Podhorn was medically discharged in 2012.

To show their support for his recovery, Re/Max RedZone and the Texas Sentinels Foundation joined forces to organize an Oktoberfest event at Carl Levin Park on Saturday to help raise funds for home renovations for Podhorn and his wife, Karen.

“We’ve never been the type of people to ask for help, and what they are doing for us, we can’t even begin to thank them enough,” Karen Podhorn said. “Even though we have known about this for several months now, it still feels like a dream.”

The nonprofit Texas Sentinels Foundation donated a repossessed house from Bank of America in need of major renovations to the Podhorns and joined with the Harker Heights Re/Max RedZone brokerage to spearhead and fund the process to restore it.

“They will eat Thanksgiving dinner at their debt-free home in Belton,” said Remy Maxam, co-owner of Re/Max Redzone. “Two years of their electric (bills) are paid for and their pantry will be stocked for six months. This is our way of giving back. A lot of times our soldiers go downrange one way and come back another, and as a community, we need to be there for them when they come home.”

Saturday’s event was the third in a series of fundraisers for Podhorn that has raised more than $19,000. “Seeing the community come out here today to show their support is just amazing,” Paul Podhorn said.

Contact Vanessa Lynch at vlynch@kdhnews.com or 254-501-7567.

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