Last week I joined a room full of people to celebrate the graduation of five Wyakin Warriors. Each of them overcame tremendous physical challenges to reach a milestone in life that many others will never attain.
As a veteran, I was proud of them, and I realized that the narrative is beginning to change for those who have sacrificed limb or other body part for their country.
They all are Wyakin Warriors, and as such have not only graduated, but they have been professionally groomed, networked, and prepared for careers. They have developed relationships with mentors who have been there with them, shoulder to shoulder, as they worked toward graduation; and they will be there afterwards too. They have already given back to the community through individual service projects (or have plans to do so shortly).
They are Wyakin Warriors for life, and will never be alone.
Mischa Brady, BA in History, Boise State University
Antonio DeLaTorre, AA in Liberal Arts, College of Western Idaho
David Maxwell, BS in Psychology, Northwest Nazarene Univ
Brandon Woodard, BA in History, Boise State University
Aaron Woods, BS in Computer Science, Boise State University
Yes, the narrative is changing. These are all severely wounded or injured veterans, but you may have noticed that there is no mention of their specific wounds in this article. It used to be that we would focus on the injuries returning veterans suffered, and in the process would forget to look at the veterans themselves.
Now we see them for their character, their abilities, and what they can accomplish to make the world a better place. We celebrate their victories and marvel at their ability to overcome physical challenges and still accomplish great things in life. What awesome role models they are.
As a veteran, I am proud of them. As a witness to what they have achieved, I am inspired.