This is the first part of a multi-part series. It isn't just our service that defines us, it's also what we continue to do after we take off the uniform. Many of us continue to do great things. Some of us do amazing things.
You see the light before you hear the boom, if you hear the boom at all. The violent reverberations as they rip through your body leave you shocked. In a split second your life could be inalterably changed. Are you able to fight? Are you hurt? Are your brothers still alive? These are just some of the thoughts that race through your mind.
It was 2007, and 2LT Mark Little had just been hit by an EFP IED. Shouts of "Medic" were heard up and down the line, because everyone knew that LT had to be MEDEVAC'd immediately. 2LT Mark Little, lost both of his legs that day.
Fast forward to 2011. I first met Mark when I was Commander of VFW Post 8469. Instantly I and ever other veteran with me that day felt a bond with him. Here he was, standing before us on his prosthetic legs with a smile on his face that let everyone know that life is good. Here was a man who had been dealt a shitty hand and who had yet come out with gold in his pockets. There are many people, who have experienced less hardship, have had fewer obstacles to overcome, who have never had to learn how to walk again, who have a sour view of the world. But not Mark.
Here was a man, a wounded warrior, who was actively trying to help other veterans. Here was a man who was giving his all to help his fellow brothers and sisters. Yet with each person he helped and with each organization he interacted, it became apparent to Mark that there weren't any other organizations that were really connecting peers with one another based upon experiences, expertise, and similar life events.
Mark stood at a crossroads. He could either continue to work for the Department of Defense and be financially secure or he could do what he felt needed to be done and take a big leap of faith. It wasn't much of a choice for Mark. Mark decided that he needed to co-found an organization that would support the needs and promote the welfare of United States military personnel, their families, and all others whose service to public safety generally supplants their own. So he co-founded Warrior 360.
But helping was just one facet of Warrior 360. To truly help recovering wounded service-members, Mark knew that there had had to be an arm of his organization that went out there to physically empower and inspire his fellow wounded veterans. Believe me, there is little that is more inspiring than seeing amputees run marathons with 45 pounds on their back or push themselves during obstacle races. Yet, it isn't just the physical empowerment that Mark concerns himself with, he also believes that these physical events are opportunities for wounded veterans to interact with civilians and through these interactions to raise awareness amongst civilian employers by showing how valuable veteran are to any workforce.
If you're as amazed as I am with what Mark Little has accomplished since 2007, you don't know the half of it. He also learned how to ice skate (after his double leg amputation), became the Captain of the USA Warriors Ice Hockey Team, and is a Board Member with the Special Forces Association.
All in all, I think that we can agree that Mark Little is an amazing.
Interested in learning more about Warrior 360? Click here!
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