As we reflect on the one-year anniversary of exiting Afghanistan, we bring to you the first of a 2-part series, “GWOT Veterans Leading the Way.”
U.S. Army Veterans Dan Blakely and Tom Amenta, co-creators of The Twenty-Year War: Our Next Greatest Generation sat down with U.S. Army Veterans Steve Forti and Nick Palmisciano to discuss how they are continuing to make an impact in their community and country since leaving the military.
We close out this four-part series with words from Rusty, who enlisted in the U.S. Army and was awarded the Purple Heart for wounds he sustained in Afghanistan in June, 2010. Months later in January of 2011, the truck he was traveling in went off a bridge and fell fifty feet down a ravine. Rusty spent 16 months at a VA hospital and is paralyzed from the neck down. Rusty says that he, “…would rather have physical injuries than mental injuries any day.”
Ken is a U.S. Army Veteran and Purple Heart recipient. His unit was tasked with locating IEDs and landmines and then detonating them. On June 18, 2004, Ken was in a Humvee (HMMWV) when his arm was hit and severed in an attack. Each year since then, Ken celebrates his Alive Day – the day he didn’t die.
Danielle never deployed overseas. Her PTSD stems from Military Sexual Assault (MSA). Danielle shares that, “PTSD from MSA is treated totally different from PTSD from combat. Our stories are very private. But I’m telling my story for my daughter and my daughter’s daughter.”