Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota- Every time Louisiana born now San Franciscan Dan Caro travels away from home, he leaves behind a fiance who loves him and who sees him for the diamond in the rough that he truly is. As a renowned musician he travels the country applying his craft. Sadly, many of the people he encounters call him a ‘freak show’ behind his back. Absolute strangers find themselves gasping with staring eyes... not realizing that Dan has caught them gawking. Whatever the reason, it happens a lot.
The 32 year old survivor of a gasoline explosion has been surgically repaired over 80 times. The resulting effect... a body that is completely covered by skin graphs.
Dan Caro is a survivor!
Despite injuries and scares that envelope his body, Dan is a beautiful man. Just ask the Airmen of Air Force Global Strike Command. Joined by fellow burn victim; Todd Lodwick, the nation's top nordic combined skier, Caro’s 80 plus percent burned body stands out against Lodwick’s 30 percent. His musical talents contrast Lodwick’s Winter Olympic prowess...
Dan 'Fire' Caro and Todd 'Ice' Lodwick... together they are creating a resiliency rich punch.
Bringing these two individuals to a remote nuclear bomber and missile base in Minot, North Dakota, and allowing them to met hundreds of Airmen is the work of Air Force Global Strike Command working in concert with it’s 5th Bomb Wing and nonprofit American300.
“Dan gets done talking and Robi (American300 host of series) throws together an add hawk drum set, the next thing everyone sees and hears is Dan (Caro) turning trash cans, pop corn machines and a microwaves into music” says Master Sergeant Glipta of the 5th Bomb Wing “Dan is an Olympic Gold Medal Musician."
America’s Nuclear Command doesn’t hand out Silver Medals... the command's Airmen have to be perfect everyday in every task!
For Dan Caro, sharing his personal story with Airmen is as easy as melting Ice into water... Dan is the flame and the Ice just tranforms to water in his presense. A transformation that Dan likens to the adaptive nature of life... You've got to be constaintly changing, to me it doesn't really matter how I change as long as I'm engaged in the process... through change I grow and my flame stays lit.
“I love being around you all, I can feel your energy and it makes me want to do something amazing, be amazing” says Caro, while the same is to true of everyone he meets and shares his live story with.
“I’ve worked with nearly a dozen American300 Never Quit Series guests, they’re all amazing individuals” says, Major Jason McCree of AFGSC “Dan Caro and Todd Lodwick are some of the most motivating guests that the nonprofit has brought out to our Airmen thus far.”
Acclaimed musician and Olympic Medalist... Fire&Ice!
Caro along with Lodwick are visiting the base as part of American300’s Never Quit Series. The program developed by volunteer: specialists, coaches, professional mentors and armed forces veterans to help Airmen.
Dan Caro likes to help people out... it lights his fire... gives him energy.
As he spins his tale of knocking over a gas can in the families garage to the countless surgeries and recovery process he endured, people are drawn to his plight. So much pain endured in an attempt to allow him to hold half a pair of drumsticks. Luckily doctors got it right in the end, but if you were to ask the Airmen of the 5th Bomb Wing they’d just tell you... the ‘Cat’ can play. They don't see the wristband that holds a stick to his stump of a right hand... they don't need to; Dan Caro is perfectly normal to those who get to meet the man. His passion for life rubs off on people who know him.
Over the span of 20 years of ski racing and 5 Olympic Teams I’ve had my days when I just wanted to quit says Lodwick, who has teamed up with Caro to offer a powerful story of perserverance. “It’s the passions in our lives that keep pulling us through the dark stretches, when I need to take a break from Olympic Training, I dive into a personal passion outside of training and it re-lights my flame.”
Relighting the flame... when you've got no way of making a spark to ignite it is something that Dan Caro is personnally very farmiliar with: “I love being down and out... cause the only place I can go is up... the very nature of the situation breeds invention.” He’s also the first to admit that there are times when he can’t go it alone: “Sometimes you just have to reach out for help... or be lucky enough to have caring people step in and help you carry lifes load.
Carrying the load isn’t a problem for the Airmen of Air Force Global Strike, they do it for our nation and the free world on a daily basis. Fire & Ice... has a goal of simply making it easier for them to do it!
PHOTOS on Facebook: ‘American300 Warrior Tours’
PHOTOS on Facebook: ‘American300 Warrior Tours’
Visit Todd Lodwick on Facebook at: Todd Lodwick
Learn more about Lodwick’s ‘Fire&Ice’ teammate Dan Caro at: www.dancaro.com
Air Force Global Strike Command information at: www.afgsc.af.mil
American300 is a 501c3 all volunteer nonprofit the operates the ‘Never Quit Series’ program for Air Force Global Strike Command. The program which is based on providing unique mentoring opportunities for Airmen is now in its seventh month of monthly programming. No federal endorsement of sponsors, individuals or nonprofit is ever intended. www.American300.org