Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A Day of Service - The Babins

This past weekend, I had the honor and privilege of organizing and leading a "Day of Service" community service project, benefiting a deserving Texas Veteran family, The Babins.


This community outreach program is something that I have a passion for because it directly impacts my fellow Texas Veterans.

The project was organized in partnership with the Association of the United States Army, the Wounded Warrior Project, TexVet, and my company, Security America Mortgage.

Our goals were simple, provide basic home maintenance services to the Babin family and show them that even though their son's time serving in the military has come to an end, the Veteran community at large still supports them and their sacrifice to America.

After the events of September 11, 2001, Corporal Alan “Doc” Babin, Jr., enlisted in the Army at the age of 22.  He wanted to do something where he could help people and insisted on becoming a medic with the elite 82nd Airborne Division.  Alan was constantly a body-in-motion, surrounded by friends and brightening peoples lives with his amazing smile.


On March 31, 2003, the 82nd was engaged in heavy gunfire on a bridge over the Euphrates River when a call for a “Medic!” rang out.  Alan ran out from a covered position to rush to render aide to his fellow soldier when he was shot through the abdomen.  He remained on the hood of a gun-truck for 3 hours before being safely evacuated from the battlefield.

His heroic actions inspired his Unit and, for his bravery, he was awarded the Bronze Star with “V” for Valor and the Purple Heart.

Alan has survived over 70 surgeries, a stroke, meningitis and a long, complicated medical journey.  Doctors expected him to live out his life in a nursing home - but God (and his mom) had a different plan.

After spending over 2 years in hospitals, he has since then been clawing his way back to health and inspiring everyone who meets him.  His determination and courage during rehab are legendary and he remains positive day-in and out. Alan loves participating in adaptive sports - taking up to 3 ski trips a year since 2006 and this summer made two river rafting trips in Colorado.

With his mother, Rosie, as his full-time caregiver, advocate and biggest fan, Alan has re-learned to breathe, talk, eat, move his limbs and to find a “new normal.”  He continues to help others “off the battlefield” by sharing his journey, making a difference in the current health-care systems and to be an agent for positive change.

Alan resides with his parents in Round Rock, Texas, and continues to enjoy “LIVING LARGE” with the encouragement of his Sister (Christy) his Dad (Al Sr.), his Mom (Rosie) and the support of many, many Patriots.

His father, Al Sr., a Commander for Round Rock Police Department, shares full time caretaker duties with Rosie.

And that comes with some challenges.

"Home ownership is a 24/7 deal anyways," said Alan Babin, Sr. "So taking care of Alan and trying to get him to all of these different events that we try to keep him involved in, sometimes you just don't have time to get to the things that you need to fix around the house."

Even after everything Alan has survived, he still encourages everyone he meets to, “Never, never, never give up!”

More "Day of Service" projects are coming soon to a Texas town near you.

It is my eternal goal as long as I walk this earth to help my fellow Veterans. Count on that.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

A couple of my favorite survivors.

Earlier this week I mentioned a couple of young women that gave me a new perspective.

This is some footage of the two Airmen that encouraged me to look at cancer and non-combat related injuries from another perspective.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Sarah Evans

Sarah Evans is an athlete who experienced her left leg amputation only one year ago.

She doesn't let it stop her from competing in the Warrior Games.


Wes Glisson

Wes has made such a amazing comeback after experiencing a head wound during a deployment to Iraq.

We spoke at length about his challenges today.


Jennifer Kyseth

Jennifer and I spoke this afternoon and she shared some of her thoughts on the Warrior Games and recovery.

Shawn Schwantes

Shawn Schwantes, U.S. Air Force Tactical Air Control Party Instructor, sat down to share a part of his story with me this afternoon.

His is another unique story with a challenging and rare syndrome.

Coach Cami

Cami Stock, Associate Head Coach of the USAF Warrior Games Team 2013,  gave me a few minutes this afternoon, rushing in between commitments for the team.

Stock, a U.S. Air Force Academy graduate, fits right in to the coaching staff with her own experience as a professional athlete.

Coach Bales

James Bales,  Head Coach for the USAF Warrior Games 2013, was so kind to give me a few minutes this afternoon.

An orthopedic surgeon, who also runs triathlons professionally... here's my time with him.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Cancer free.

Goodnight everyone. Long day, insomnia kickin, tired tomorrow.

Morning 2 in Colorado Springs.

Today should be another productive day for all the USAF athletes. Although, for our track and field folks, it's pretty cold outside and snow is on its way in this afternoon.

This morning I was running a bit behind as I did not sleep well last night. Hopefully, this won't hurt my shooting skills too much.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Orion Orellano and the end of day 1.

Briefly, I want to mention the tragedy we as a nation experienced this afternoon. My heart goes out to all of those citizens of Boston and the cities around the nation with families attending the Boston Marathon.

The Airmen attending the Warrior Games Training Camp worked our hearts out during our individual and group events. Each respective challenge attacked and shared by athletes with common grounds. I had the opportunity to speak with one of these Air Force Warrior athletes this evening.

Monday Morning Video Update

Today is our first day of training for this weeks 2013 USAF Warrior Games Training Camp. I will be doing video blogs all this week to add some more personal insight from other athletes here on this blog. Check back all week for updates and stories from Active Duty and Veteran athletes. I'm about to start practicing with my pistol, but will have another update later in the day.