Never Quit - Minot Air Force Base 2015

Minot Air Force Base -  When the equipment case slammed down on top of Cavalry Scout Trooper Patrick MacDonald it was like adding insult to injury.  The 113 Armored Personnel Carrier he was coming down off the DMZ in had already started sliding down the South Korean mountain people were going to get hurt. 

The huge equipment case was just the icing on the cake, weighing well over five hundred pounds it slammed into  Patrick's chest.  In the end it drove it’s punishment into his chest cavity and broke the Cav Scout’s back and severed his spinal cord.

U.S. Army Sergeant Patrick MacDonald was paralyized and dying from internal injuries. 

Over the past decade the Department of Defense has spent tremendous time, energy and resources on the subject of resiliency.  

For Patrick MacDonald and family, rebounded from the near life ending injury to re-starting life with a wheelchair, the realities of resiliency in the military don't get more real.   

When Erin Nemec qualified for the Olympic Winter Games in Snowboarding’s BorderCross event she was already a ESPN Winter XGames star with medals to go prove it.   

The problem was she didn’t really know her Olympic Team teammates.  After laying down fantastic Olympic qualification runs, Erin was the focus of the Canadian Snowboarding program... it looked like Canada might bring home a medal.   

The attention she received didn’t sit all that well with Erin’s ‘teammates’ who for years had been the standout athletes on the team.  Instead of being a part of a team, Erin found herself an outsider.  Instead of congratulations, she was ignored... instead of being welcomed she was blindsided.  

When the Olympic Games were over, Erin had posted her worst international result, but she’d learned something in the process... just because you’re named to a team doesn’t mean you’re on a team.

Luckily, Erin had Kevin a renowned coach and devoted husband.  She also had a team that would gladly take her in after the Olympics... Erin became a defacto member of the US Team. 

“They were just truly supportive, they could count on me to have their back and I theirs... to me it just felt like the kind of team I should have been on up in Canada.” said Erin over the phone while getting ready for the trip to Minot, North Dakota, adding, “I’m stoked Cactus (nickname for her husband Kevin) is coming on this American300 Never Quit Tour, he tells the story of what I went through in Torino much better then I do.” 

American300 has brought valued guests like these to Minot Air Force Base well over a dozen times over the past 3 years.  All in an effort to support the Air Force Fit program which focuses on comprehensive Airmen wellbeing and personal and family development.  “We’ve shared some amazing life stories with these Airmen over the years,” says Robi Powers, founder of American300 he adds, “Erin and Cactus‘ life story is so different from Patrick’s, but together and combined with dozens of other guests that have traveled to Minot, it all makes for a compelling and lasting message.”

For more information on American300 visit: 

American300 is a volunteer nonprofit 501c3 with a mission of increasing the resiliency capabilities of today's Armed Forces Members.   No federal endorsement of sponsors or nonprofit is intended or implied - 

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