Fort Hood soldier survives massive brain bleed, celebrates retirement

"I've never seen him say 'I can't'. He just keeps going."

A Fort Hood soldier who suffered a massive brain bleed, known as an AVM rupture, two years ago, shouldn't be alive today. But not only is he alive, he's learning how to walk, talk and eat again.

First Sergeant Jerry Plaster walked the stage of his Army retirement ceremony, after serving the country for 26 years. He was a picture of health, but then, the unthinkable happened for Plaster when he was training in Louisiana.

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"He fell, made his way over to the guy sleeping in the cot next to him and he said, 'I can't see, not notional, call doc,' and then he collapsed," his wife Maggie said.

Plaster had an AVM, or tangled blood vessels, since birth but he did not know about it. The AVM ruptured, causing a massive brain bleed, leaving Maggie in complete shock.

"They told me that he would start shutting down, they told me he wouldn't even make the ride home from San Antonio," she said.

But two years later, he's learning to walk again and he started talking again a couple months ago with the help of lots of therapy and care. He goes to speech therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy and equine therapy.

"Riding Dunny is cool," First Sergeant Plaster said.

And he interacts with his kids too, especially since he starting talking again two months ago.

"I'm really proud of him. I'm happy he overcame all of this and survived a really bad stroke on his brain stem," son Jacob Plaster said.

Plaster also continues to influence soldiers who he served with worldwide, including Captain Michael McAlister.

"So we did Thanksgiving, Christmas with them and got much more close than you would ordinarily so kind of had a big brother, pseudo-father role model figure for me," McAlister explained.

Plaster's wife, Maggie, said he is the epitome of his old unit's motto, "Night stalkers don't quit".