Watters' World: Wounded Warrior edition

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," November 18, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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O'REILLY: "Watters' World" segment tonight, fighting back from near- death.


In 2006, Sgt. Major Jesse Acosta from Southern California, hit in the face with a mortar round in Iraq, a 24-year veteran of the Army, he lost both eyes, had his jawbone shattered, and suffered a variety of other injuries.

While healing, he was given massive amounts of narcotics and became addicted. It took him for years --


-- to get clean. Sgt. Major Acosta now sits on the Board of the Independence Fund which is raising money for high-tech wheelchairs for other badly wounded vets. We sent Jesse Watters out to talk to Mr. Acosta.


JESSE WATTERS, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Sgt. Major Jesse Acosta, when did you know you wanted to be in the military.

SGT. MAJOR JESSE ACOSTA, U.S. ARMY (RET.): My father was a World War II vet and I would hear his stories.


I decided very young that I would join the military, and I did right after high school.

WATTERS: Where were you based.

ACOSTA: My first home station was Fort Lewis, Washington.


WATTERS: When 9/11 happened, did that affect you.

ACOSTA: At that point in time, I was already stationed in Los Angeles, --


-- and that's when all the deployments started.


We were stationed in Balad, known also as Camp Anaconda.

WATTERS: What point did you face enemy fire.

ACOSTA: It was non-stop every single day. From the day we landed, the C-130 would not stop.


And the crew chief was saying we're under attack. The ramp was dropped and all we could do --


-- was just chug our duffle bags and, immediately, we took cover in bunkers. That day, January 16th, when that bomb landed right by me and took me out, hit me on the left side and hit me in the face and took off my eyes and my jaws.

WATTERS: Can I see you without the sunglasses.

ACOSTA: Yes. I've had extensive reconstruction done to my face and also, --


-- my jaw, they did bone graphing.


WATTERS: And did you have a big support system.

ACOSTA: When I came home, I had no support system whatsoever. I think that was very hard. From Germany, they shipped me to --


-- Walter Reid. I never saw -- I never saw anybody, to be honest with you.


WATTERS: That's troubling.

ACOSTA: I was asked one time why wasn't I eating my food in front of me. And I told them, "What food?"

WATTERS: Do you feel that you were neglected by medical professionals at Walter Reid.

ACOSTA: At that time, yes, absolutely. Couple of my staff from my old unit, the medical unit I belonged to, they actually flew in out-of- pocket, to take care of their old first sergeant back then.

That was actually my first support group. And the only support group I had.

WATTERS: What type of opiates were they giving you at the V.A. in California.

ACOSTA: I remember having still morphine, pills, Vicodine, Percocet, Codeine.

WATTERS: How long were you taking these narcotics for.

ACOSTA: I was taking those pills for four years every single day. I came to realize that, --


-- "This is out of control." I just opt to --


-- finally cold turkey, stop.




I would love to go back to Palo Alto V.A., West L.A. V.A and tell them, "Look at me now."

What's next.

WATTERS: We are going to go out and second shot, and see if you can get on the green.

ACOSTA: All right.

WATTERS: How did you get introduced to the Independence Fund.


ACOSTA: Back in 2007, while I was going through all my surgeries --


-- and whatnot, I get a call --


-- if I wanted to partake in a cycling event. I said, "Why not."

WATTERS: Steve Looker.


ACOSTA: What a man.

WATTERS: Bill O'Reilly has been very supported of the Independence Fund. Are you a FACTOR fan, by any chance.

ACOSTA: Oh, yes. He has been tremendous for us, the Independence Fund. Thank you, Bill.


O'REILLY: Now, the sgt. major, is he getting a TrackChair.

WATTERS: He doesn't need a TrackChair. He's blind, so he does not use a TrackChair.

O'REILLY: So, then, why is he on the board. What does he -- why is he helping the Independence Fund.

WATTERS: Well, right now, they have hyperbolic chambers for guys that they enter into. And if you suffer from depression, or head traume, or addiction, like he did, you go in these chambers and it works a lot better.


O'REILLY: Well, that's interesting.


O'REILLY: So, it's not just the TrackChairs the Independence Fund --

WATTERS: Not just the TrackChairs.

O'REILLY: -- they do another thing. Now, when you played golf, he plays on a sound ball, right. There's a sound ball?

WATTERS: No, no. He actually warms up, gets loose, I put the ball in front of him, --

O'REILLY: Right.

WATTERS: -- and it's, basically, I have to guide him to where he swings. He actually almost outdrove me on the tee, which was a little embarrassing.

O'REILLY: It's amazing.

WATTERS: But he's got a nice swing.

O'REILLY: So, he can feel the ball on his club, right.

WATTERS: He could feel the ball. It's muscle memory. And he never played before he lost his eyesight. This is all he has gained since he's been blind.

O'REILLY: Right. Sgt. Major Jesse Acosta.


Amazing story, Watters.

WATTERS: Amazing man.

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