Meet a Warrior
When terrorists attacked our country on September 11, 2001, Brent decided to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps. He signed up for the U.S. Army infantry on the first day possible.
The events of 9/11 made Jason Ehrhart angry — so angry that he enlisted in the U.S. Army after high school. In 2005, life for Jason and his family took a devastating turn.
In 2011, while Beth King was deployed to Afghanistan, the helicopter she was riding in took a direct hit from a rocket-propelled grenade.
In 2012, Brian was juggling the roles of caregiver and active duty Army Colonel — along with his own PTSD symptoms — when he and his wife was introduced to Wounded Warrior Project.
Aaron Cornelius saw a lot of combat while leading U.S. Army soldiers through three deployments in Iraq. But it wasn’t until the last deployment that, as Aaron says, “all hell broke loose.”
Philip Krabbe’s happiest memories came from the time he spent in the U.S. Marine Corps. “I loved the Marines.” Philip says. “The best part was the camaraderie and the love we had for one another.”
Sam Hargrove joined the U.S. Air Force in 1996 for the promise of a better life and a secure future. She never thought her job as an admin, working on computers, would put her in harm’s way — but in Iraq, everything was in harm’s way.
The events of 9/11 awakened something in then-25-year-old Bill Jones. He’d been considering serving in the military for a while, but after that day, he couldn’t wait any longer.
Bill Hansen served 10 years in the U.S. Marine Corps and 12 years in the Army National Guard. He deployed to Iraq twice — during both Operation Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Taniki Richard enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 2001 and immediately loved it. Not only did she cherish the family-like relationships she created with her fellow marines, she also enjoyed all her duty stations — even, to some extent, Iraq.
The United States Marine Corps was as much the source of Severa Parrish’s self-confidence as it was the cause of her vulnerability.
Growing up, Sean Sanders was the black sheep of his family. His parents sent him to military school in eighth grade because he was getting into trouble and struggling in school. When he graduated, he went straight into the U.S. Army.
Growing up in Puerto Rico, Roberto Cruz always looked up to his father. “My father was a U.S. Army Vietnam veteran,” says Roberto. “And I wanted to be just like him. In 2003, right before the invasion of Iraq, I told my dad I was going to join.”
When Michael Pence joined the United States Marines right after his high school graduation, he imagined a life serving his...
On September 9, 2005, Michael Carrasquillo jumped to the ground from a hovering helicopter in Afghanistan, looking to help his unit capture a high- value Al Qaeda official.
As Manny Colón saw his dream of a lifelong military career in the United States Army come to an unexpected halt, he became entangled in a nightmare of bitterness and depression.
Lisa Hopkins & Josh Sommers
In 2010, Lisa Hopkins got the phone call every military parent dreads. Her son, Josh Sommers, was severely wounded by a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) in Afghanistan.
John Goubeaux served his country for more than 23 years in the U.S. Air Force, starting out as an airplane mechanic and working his way up to aviation investigator.
On Veteran’s Day in 1987, Jim Mylott began his 22-year career as a military police officer in the U.S. Army. According to Jim, the military is “almost like the family business.”
James Rivera dragged his couch to an isolated field near Yulee, Florida, struck a match, and set it on fire.
Four years after leaving the military, Eric ran into one of his fellow marines and the meeting stirred up painful memories. It put Eric back in therapy, where he learned about Wounded Warrior Project.
While lying in his hospital bed watching television, David saw a Wounded Warrior Project commercial. He picked up the phone and made what he calls “the most life-changing phone call” he’s ever made.
For Christine and Gordon Schei, the road to becoming caregivers started when their son, Erik, enlisted in the United States Army shortly after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
When Bill Geiger returned to civilian life after two deployments with the United States Army, he was a changed man.
Antoinette Wallace grew up in Staten Island, NY, in the shadow of the Manhattan skyline. So, when two planes crashed into the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 it had a profound impact on her future.
Angie Peacock joined the U.S. Army in 1998 because she wanted a job with meaning that empowered her to help others.
Dan Smee joined the U.S. Army as a medic in 1983, served his four years, and then went back to living a normal civilian life. But after 9/11, he felt he had to do something to help — so in 2002, he joined the National Guard.
In 2003, Adam Harris and two of his friends decided to join the U.S. Marine Corps on a whim. They were looking for a new challenge in life, and they certainly found one.
On his final mission, a roadside bomb blew up the truck he was driving, leaving him with third-degree burns over 70 percent of his body, a broken back, and many other injuries. He was lucky to survive.
Claude Boushey grew up surfing in the waters around Barbers Point Naval Air Station in Hawaii, watching military aircraft take off and land — and dreaming that someday, maybe he’d be a pilot himself.
Tad Stuart was not always certain about his future. There was a question of whether Tad would be able to fly again after...
Tom Marcum joined the U.S. Air Force in 1996 expecting to make it his life’s career. Over the course of two deployments to Iraq and one to Kuwait, Tom estimates he was on 250 missions.
Paul De La Cerda
Paul De La Cerda walked into the Army recruiting station and told the recruiter, “I want airborne, infantry.” The recruiter questioned Paul’s…
William (Bill) Thomas
Bill Thomas served our country and his community for more than 30 years. He joined the Air Force Reserve in 1977 and got out in 1986 to become a Newark, NJ, police officer.
In 2004, Brett deployed to Iraq. He remembers making peace with himself and accepting the possibility he might not make it home alive. And he was almost right.
Carlos De León
Carlos De León joined the military for the promise of a better life, and because he felt a calling to serve his country.
Mike started attending local WWP events with his father, who is his full-time caregiver. They found that getting out of the house and spending time with other warriors and caregivers was a therapeutic way to relieve the stress of recovery.
Andrew Harriman joined the U.S. Army in 2002 to satisfy his passion for helping people. Since he was already serving his community as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), enlisting as a combat medic was an obvious choice.
Jeffrey Adams joined the Army National Guard in 1998, and after the events that occurred on 9/11, he knew he would eventually be sent to war. He deployed to Iraq in 2004 as a platoon leader in southern Baghdad.
After a two-year stint in the U.S. Navy from 1988-90, Deron Santiny left to attend college. In 1994, while still attending classes, he felt the pull to re-enter the military, so he joined the National Guard as an infantry soldier. Ten years later, his guard unit deployed to Iraq.
Mike Heller will never forget joining the U.S. Marine Corps after graduating from high school in 1999. Along with the births of his three daughters, it ranks as one of his proudest moments.
When Bobby Woods joined the U.S. Army in 2008, he signed on for an extra three years of service just to make sure he could be in the infantry.
Chris Gordon joined the U.S. Army in 1997. His first duty station was Hohenfels, Germany — and that’s where he was on September 11, 2001. Having grown up in Brooklyn and Queens, the events of that day hit close to home.
Brian Sellers has always been driven by his dedication to serve. Coupled with his family’s extensive military history, it’s no surprise Brian chose to join the United States Marine Corps in 2000, after he finished high school.
The survivor’s guilt Joey felt because of that experience, coupled with the danger he was in on every mission in Iraq, left Joey with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
When Jessica Coulter couldn’t afford groceries for herself and her two sons, she knew it was time to ask for help.
Frank Sonntag grew up on military bases across the country because his father served in the U.S. Navy. When Frank turned 18 in 1970, he decided it was his turn to serve — so he joined the U.S. Army.
Keith Sekora’s friends and family had one question for him when he decided to join the Air Force after 9/11: “Haven’t you done enough?”
As a Black Hawk helicopter crew chief in Iraq, it was his job to make sure the aircraft was safe and ready to fly. But on November 8, 2007, he was on someone else’s aircraft for a joint training exercise in Italy when the helicopter had what Mark calls an “unrecoverable malfunction.”
Nick Bennett grew up idolizing the World War II service of his grandfathers and always knew he wanted to be a part of the military. So when he graduated high school in1988, he joined the U.S. Marine Corps.
In March 2003, he was a part of one of the most iconic battles of the Iraq War — the battle for Haditha Dam. After the dam was secure, John’s team went to clear a nearby building full of weapons that had been used by the Iraqi Army during the battle. But while John was inside, it collapsed.
Donna Pratt joined the U.S. Army in 1990 to realize a selfless purpose — protecting her country. She left the military in 1998, but a few years later, 9/11 called her to service once again, and she re-enlisted in the Army.