History of Nominee: Served 2 tours with a beautiful wife and 3 young children at home. After returning home, Mike struggles to find a full time job so he has started a non-profit to better serve his community. He continues to serve his Country in the Army Reserves.
Struggles Overcome of Nominee: Mike has found work after returning home from military tours, seeking to minister to his community.
Future Goals of Nominee: Find a full time job, while growing a successful new non-profit organization, and sending kids to a great college!
History of Nominee: The life of Joshua Lopez age 25 from Lancaster, Ca. and his wife and two beautiful kids Patrick and Robert were turned upside down when a IED exploded in a building in Afghanistan. Sergeant Lopez pushed his team mate out of harms way to safety only to leave himself in the direct path of the explosion, which threw him 20 feet in the air. Sergeant Lopez, broke his back, shattered his pelvis and sustained many more injuries that would lead him to flat line on the way to the hospital.
Struggles Overcome of Nominee: Joshua has overcome PTSD, depression, amputation, 45 surgeries to date and painful rehabilitation to live a normal life with his family.
Future Goals of Nominee: Sergeant Lopez has been studying Cyber Security thanks to 2 gentlemen who volunteered their time at the hospital. Cyber Security gives me a way to continue to give back to my country and I have a Interview with BoozAllen. He is also very big into Archery and have become competitive at shooting a bow. My goal is to make the US Archery team and participate in the Paralympics.
History of Nominee: I served in the United States Army from July 1993 – July 1996. I was stationed at Schofield Barracks, HI. Then to finish my eight year obligation time I joined the National Guard. I was in the Army National Guard from July 1996 to January 2001. I served in the California National Guard and Iowa National Guard. In July 2004 I decided to join the Army Reserves but had the urge to go back on active duty. After numerous discussions with my wife,Nichole, I decided to join the United States Army again and asked to be stationed at Ft. Lewis, WA. From February 2005 to June 2006 I was in the 1st squadron 2nd Calvary Regiment as an Infantry Squad Leader. From June 2006 to August 2008 I was in the 4th BN 9th Infantry Regiment where I served as a Vehicle Commander of a STRYKER. In April 2007 my unit was deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. My Battalion was based out of Forward Operation Base Taji. My company was assigned to secure the town of Tarmiyah and to eliminate all insurgents. From August 2008 to May 2009 I was assigned to HHC 4th Brigade 4th Infantry Division. Finally I was assigned to the Ft. Carson Warrior Transition Unit to manage my Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms and Traumatic Brain Injury. The Army officially retired me on March 17, 2010 at Ft. Carson, CO.
Struggles Overcome of Nominee: I attended Aspen Pointe’s Culinary Kitchen Program under the supervision of Chef Brent Beavers. After completing this program I earned a job with Chef Jason Guss, Chef Guss has won numerous culinary awards. My social skills have diminished over the years while the PTSD symptoms have gotten worse. There have been a couple of things that has allowed me to be comfortable around other people. Barbequing and just the passion of creating food for other people have allowed me to be happy.
Future Goals of Nominee: I look forward to learning culinary and barbecuing for my family and friends. I love being a father and working with my children to be come the best they can be.