Undisclosed Area of Operation Afghanistan- Wounded United States Marines are driving, flying and walking their way around Afghanistan this July 4th week for the first time in what American300 has named 'The Leathernecks Tour'.
Once again the nonprofit has rounded up amazing examples of adaptability in the form of four decorated war veterans and worked with the Department of Defenses Armed Forces Entertainment office to get them to the front lines. The first of nonprofit's 'Profiles in Extreme Courage' was conducted last fall during the anniversary of the battle of Mogadishu, when Army Ranger veterans including Ranger Battalion Commander Colonel Danny McKnight visited northern Afghanistan outposts with three other Rangers.
"We've brought Olympic Medalists, NASCAR Drivers, Rodeo Champions and Astronauts (to name a few) over and the feedback has always been off the charts positive" says Robi Powers, founder of the program "what makes this 'Profiles in Extreme Courage Series' so special is the absolute connection that forms between today's warriors and these warriors of past conflicts."
One such warrior... Colonel Tim Howard.
"You've got to get out of here. I am going to die, but you've got a chance..."
These were the words spoken by the Colonel, then a Marine Captain as he lay dieing in his Medium Helicopter Squadron-261, 22nd Marine Amphibious Unit - AH 1T Helicopter. A Helo he'd just managed to autorotate land one handed from 385 feet off the deck, courtesy of a AA 20mm round blowing his right arm off in the air above the island of Grenada as Operation Urgent Fury continued on all around him.
It was five months before I could walk with special crutches," recalled Howard. "I walked with a cane until just about a year after being shot. I began walking fast/jogging at the two year mark."
Many service members would have been content with a medical discharge following an incapacitating wound. Howard wanted to stay "Marine."
"I felt I still had something to contribute to my beloved Corps. I still feel that way."
There's no doubt in American300's mind or the hundreds of service members he's met here in Afghanistan this week... that Colonel Tim Howard ret. has something to contribute... thanks Sir.
The Leathernecks Tour Continues here in Afghanistan... thanks for following us.
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American300 is an all volunteer nonprofit run by veterans and civilians with a mission of raising the resiliency of our Troops, Their Family Members and the Areas in which they live and operate in. No federal endorsement of sponsors or nonprofit intended. www.American300.org