Congratulations to our winner,
SPC, United States Army
I think SPC Brewer is the perfect example of why our military deserves only the highest of praise. When I read Michael’s story, I found it hard to get out of my head. This man, this American soldier, while sustaining severe wounds to his face and hands, lead his entire convoy out of the danger zone after they had been ambushed by insurgents without a single casualty. He continued to drive, blinded by not only the smoke from the explosions, but also the blood from his own injuries, until his team was completely out of the kill zone. This soldier went above and beyond the call of duty during his time in Afghanistan, and has continued to do so Stateside even after eleven surgeries to his hands and face. SPC Brewer credits his wife, Jill, for his ability to stay positive which has been crucial in his fight to recover fully from his wounds. I believe that Michael and Jill make "The Perfect Union", and I couldn't be more honored than for SPC Michael Brewer to accept this ring as my thank you for his service to our country.
Thank you to Mike, and to everyone who participated.
I am currently an active duty Army Wounded Warrior/Purple Heart Recipient. On June 27th 2010, I was the lead driver of our convoy in Northern Afghanistan when our convoy was ambushed by Insurgents. I was hit by an RPG six inches from my face and sustained severe injuries. My gunner had been knocked unconscious for several seconds leaving it to me to lead our convoy out of the danger zone with out any casualties. Despite my severe injuries, no communications, not being able to see because of the smoke and blood, I managed to continue driving to get my whole convoy out of the kill zone and to safety before I stopped to receive medical treatment.
I was medically evacuated first to Germany and then onto the United States. From then until now I have received 11 surgeries to my hands and my face. I received the Purple Heart Medal, Combat Action Badge, and the Army Commendation Medal with Valor Device for being wounded in combat and heroic actions. The reason I would like to win this nomination is that my wife and I had met in 2005 and started dating. We got engaged in 2006, but due to financial situations we could not afford to get married. In Jan. 2007 I enlisted into the U.S. Army and immediately started basic training for 9 weeks in Ft.Sill, OK. In April 2007 I arrived in my Advanced Individual Training School in El Paso, TX. In May 2007 I had finally finished all training and arrived in my first Army Unit at Ft. Stewart, GA.
The day I arrived to my Unit, I also received deployment orders to be shipped off to Iraq for 15 months and a month of intense Individual Readiness Training before hand which left me flying out in late May. Struggling with the fact that I had not seen my fiance or new daughter since Dec. 2006, I knew that I could not leave for 15 months with out getting married and getting my family to Georgia from Pennsylvania. So on the only weekend I had available I flew home to be wed and move.As soon as I got off the plane we drove straight to the court house to sign a marriage certificate and got married. The next day I loaded my new family into my truck that was in PA and drove 1200 miles to get to Georgia.
So because of this rushed marriage due to an immediate deployment, I never got to buy my wife the wedding ring of her dreams, nor have I been able to take her on a honey moon. Since I got wounded during my second deployment, my wife has been my primary care giver. She has always been there for me and has never left my side. I owe her my healthy recovery and because I am still undergoing much therapy and only survive on a E4 salary with now 2 kids, I will unfortunately never be able to afford the ring that she deserves. I would like to be able to give her something that she has deserved since the very beginning. I hope that I am deserving of this and that I hear back, thank you for presenting such an opportunity as this.