Today's American Veteran is presented by the Coalition to Salute America's Heroes The show is hosted by Emmy nominated actor and Patriot Jack Scalia.The Coalition supports all Veterans and is a non partisan outreach.The views expressed by our guests are their own and may not reflect those of The Coalition to Salute America's Heroes
Army Sergeant Mary Herrera of the 855th Military Police Company of the Arizona National Guard, was wounded on November 8, 2003 while on a routine mission to Fallujah from Ramadi. Sgt. Herrera the gunner of the lead vehicle was manning an M249 and a MK-19 when her element was ambushed by rifle fire, R.P.G.s, and I.E.D.s. Sgt. Herrera was immediately hit with one AK-47 round on her right bicep but was able to continue suppressing fire until she was hit was a second AK-47 round on her right firearm
After returning to the United States, Sgt. Herrera was awarded the Purple Heart for wounds received as a result of enemy and hostile action. Mary did not lose her arm due to extraordinary surgical efforts, and she received numerous surgeries, skin grafts and physical therapy at Brooke Army Medical Center in Fort Sam Houston, Texas.
According to Maj. Gen. David Rataczak, of the Arizona National Guard, Herrera is the bravest person he has ever met. He refers to Sgt. Herrera as a true example of a modern citizen-soldier who, despite being small in stature, is motivated, loyal, physically and mentally capable, disciplined and proficient, courageous and always a professional.
Due to her story and her example, the state of Arizona has passed a bill that will authorize tuition waiver scholarships to National Guardsmen and women who received a Purple Heart or were medically discharged due to injuries while serving in the military after Sept. 11, 2001. The bill is affectionately known as the Mary Herrera bill.
Sgt. Herrera re-joined the Coalition team in April 2013 as a Field Representative of the West. She resides with her daughter in Arizona and is dedicated to serving her fellow wounded service members through the mission of the Coalition.
Eddie Gomez is President of the Rocky Mountain Hyperbaric Association for Brain Injuries.Eddie shares the breakthroughs being made to help veterand cope with TBI. The mission of the Rocky Mountain Hyperbaric Association for Brain Injuries is to improve the quality of life for people suffering from brain injuries in the Rocky Mountain region by providing financial support and logistical assistance to individuals who are seeking rehabilitation through hyperbaric oxygen therapy and to promote education and understanding to the community regarding the benefits of hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
David W. Walker was elected President and Chief Executive Officer of the Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes in July 2012. He has been a member of the Coalition’s Board of Directors since 2005, and has served as its Chairman since 2009.
Prior to joining the Coalition as its CEO, Mr. Walker served for nine years as Vice President of Association Services for the McLean, Va.-based National Glass Association (NGA), the largest and most influential trade association serving the architectural glass, automotive glass, and window and door industries. Prior to joining the NGA in 2005, he spent 20 years with the National Association of Manufacturers, eventually becoming its Vice President of Marketing and Member Services.
Mr. Walker is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, and earned his MBA with highest honors from the Lake Forest Graduate School of Management. He later graduated from the Innovative Leadership Executive Management Program at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Management.
Donny Daughenbaugh is USMC (ret.) and Vice President – Field Operations The Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes ‘Rebuilding lives and Restoring Hope for Troops Wounded in the War on Terror’ In October 2004 in Mahmoudiya, a city south of Baghdad, Donny was on a night foot patrol conducting vehicle searches. When a vehicle approached to be searched, the driver became irate and sped off. He engaged the squad of Marines with an AK-47 rifle and as Marines are taught, if you have no cover and concealment, make yourself a small target. As Cpl. Daughenbaugh was in the prone position flashes from the muzzle were aimed in his direction. One of those bullets hit Donny in the face, broke his jaw and severely damaged his nerves. His jaw was wired shut to heal the break and the bullet left in place, too close to vital nerves to be removed. Donny Was sent to Landstuhl Germany for weeks of stabilization and additional surgery until he was well enough to be sent home, to see his wife and daughter for the first time since his injury occurred.