As a disabled veteran of the Iraq war, I am very excited to be raising funds for other disabled veterans to participate in Operation Heal Our Patriots.
I understand what most of our combat veterans experience on a daily basis, because I am one. I enlisted in the Navy at age 18 and ended my 21-year military career as a Special Operations Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Operator. Throughout Operation Iraqi Freedom, I provided counter-IED (Improvised Explosive Device) support to hundreds of combat missions In support of Naval Special Warfare and the Army. Although I wanted to attain the rank of E-9, Master Chief Petty Officer, I managed to retire as an E-8, Senior Chief Petty Officer with honors. Suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, chronic Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), multiple fractures in my lower back and neck, and partial damage in one lung, the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs rated me at 100% Permanent and Total Disability. When I retired, I was a mess. But thanks to my wonderful wife, I am not as big of a mess now. Cynthia has been my support structure through it all, and brought me back to the Lord. She is steadfast, solid, and knows exactly what I need.
Throughout my career, I always looked up to the “Chief” – the guy responsible for taking care of the men and women under his leadership. When I could no longer lead platoons in the field as a Platoon Chief, I decided that I would retire, but continue to take care of my brothers and sisters in arms. Being a father and husband is my new primary mission, and taking care of veteran brothers and sisters is now my lifelong secondary mission.
Wanting to get in better shape, I enrolled in an in-house therapy/treatment program through the local VA and worked tirelessly for two years to get stronger. My therapists helped me re-acquaint myself with cycling, and I’m happy to say that I’m now cycling again to fundraise for this amazing cause! I still struggle daily to get through the pain, but I have learned that “an object in motion tends to stay in motion.” It’s through cycling that I will raise much needed money for all these deserving veterans and their spouses to attend Operation Heal Our Patriots and begin the healing process of their marriages.
On September 9th, I will attempt to complete a 113-mile bicycle ride from Sun Valley to Buhl, Idaho in order to raise awareness for Operation Heal Our Patriots, as well as to exemplify the strength of all my veteran and active duty brothers and sisters who deal with their disabilities and mental pain of war daily.
You can help disabled veterans and their spouses attend Operation Heal Our Patriots – a project of Samaritan’s Purse – by donating through this website. The process is fast, easy, and secure. If you can’t make a donation at this point, you can help me reach my goal by sharing this page on Facebook and Twitter! Or, even better, send an email to friends you think might be interested in contributing and include a link to my page. I truly appreciate any support you can provide. Together, we will be able to financially enable four disabled veterans and their spouses to participate in Operation Heal Our Patriots and receive desperately-needed marriage counseling and time together as husband and wife.
Thank you so much for your generosity!