Lt. Col. Patrick McNamara, U.S. Army (Ret)

General Douglas MacArthur said “Duty, Honor, Country: Those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be. They are your rallying points: to build courage when courage seems to fail; to regain faith when there seems to be little cause for faith; to create hope when hope becomes forlorn.” The 22 Project is rebuilding courage, faith, and hope one veteran at a time. Patrick J. McNamara Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) West Point Class of 1997

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SP. Joao (John) Paula, U.S. Army (Ret)

My name is Joao Paula. I was born and raised in Portugal. I moved to the United States on August 17th of 2002 in pursuit of a better future and lived in Florida until February of 2008. Ever since I moved here this country provided me with an amazing opportunity to a great life, so I decided to pay it back. I’m a United States Army Veteran, First Calvary Division out of Fort Hood, Texas. I decided to enlist on February 28th of 2008 and served very proudly until March 19th 2011. I figured there wasn’t a better way to pay back all the good our country gave me, other than to serve and protect this great nation that I now call home. During my service in the military I deployed to Iraq during 2009 and went through a lot. Luckily I didn’t get injured like many service members did, but I did se...

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SSG. Mackenzie Verdi, U.S. Army (Ret)

My name is Mackenzie Verdi and I am a disabled combat Veteran. I served five years in the 101st airborne division as a Military Police officer. During my five years I did two tours in Iraq with the 101st Airborne Division. I grew in the ranks from a private in charge of a 50 cal. machine gun all the way to a Squad Leader in charge of 12 men. The first time I deployed to Iraq I was a 50 cal. machine gunner. We were one of the first units to go into Iraq and break the Kuwaiti border. I was in a position where I had to act first. After long days full of action and at the same time not having communication from home, it was very hard to cope with on a day to day basis without the support of my family and friends around me. My second tour to Iraq was a bit different. Our unit was placed i...

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SSG. Javier Gomez, U.S. Army (Ret)

MY NAME IS JAVIER GOMEZ, I AM A DISABLED VET DUE TO MY T.B.I., P.T.S.D. AND DELUSIONAL DISORDER. I SERVED AS A SNIPER FROM FEB 2004 TO APR 2010, WITH TWO TOURS IN IRAQ. I WAS HIT BY TWO I.E.D.S (IMPROVISED EXLPOSIVE DEVICE) AND AN RPG AMBUSH. THE RPG AMBUSH LEFT ME WITH FRACTURED RIBS AND A CONCUSSION LUCKY ENOUGH TO BE ALIVE. THERE MUST BE A GREATER PLAN FOR ME. I HAD BEEN BATTLING MY SYMPTONS VALIENTLY BUT FELT I WAS GOING NOWHERE; TAKING HEAVY MEDS SEEMED TO BE THE ONLY TOOL I HAD. I WOULD GET REALLY BAD ANXIETY ATTACKS THAT CONFINED ME TO MY HOME. FOR A WHILE I TRIED TO SELF MEDICATE BY USING DRUGS- THAT JUST TOOK ME TO THE WRONG PATH. I EVENTUALLY WAS HOSPITALIZED TWICE BY BAKER ACT. ON THE SECOND TRIP TO THE PSYCH WARD, I WAS DEALING WITH STRONG FEELINGS OF GUILT, AND I WAS READIN...

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Sarah Yuengling, U.S. Navy (Ret)

My name is Sarah Yuengling I served in Fallujah Iraq 2004 to 2005 as a Navy Nurse. My dad died a few days after I arrived in Fallujah I was not able to go home. A couple of days later I was in the hospital standing over a patient with two corpsman when a rocket landed next to the barriers. No one was physically hurt but small little slivers of the concrete fell from the wall and my patient screamed “ my ears my ears”. It was a loud noise and I was really numb in side but also had no fear because I believed my dad was there in spirit at that time protecting me. On the way back home in Kuwait I fell on the tarmac on my left side and injured my hand. I went to many surgeries and was on and off pain meds. I got out of the Navy in 2009 had one more surgery then went back to work again. I wa...

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