GET TO KNOW THE TEAM OF MEN & WOMEN BEHIND THE MISSION


JOHN FERNANDEZ

John is a Long Island native who grew up in Rocky Point, NY. After High School John attended the United States Military Academy Preparatory School and upon completion entered the United States Military Academy.

While at West Point he was a four year Varsity Lacrosse letter winner and captained the 2001 Army Lacrosse team. John graduated in 2001 with a Bachelors of Science degree in Systems Engineering . He was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army as a Field Artillery Officer and sent to Fort Sill, OK. While at Fort Sill John acted as a Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) Platoon Leader, Maintenance officer, and Executive Officer. In January of 2003 John was selected to deploy to Kuwait and participated in the ensuing invasion of Iraq in March. On April 3, 2003 he was seriously wounded in Iraq and lost his left foot and right leg below the knee. John’s military service earned him various awards and decorations including the Purple Heart and Army Commendation Medal with “V” device for Valor. After rehabilitation he pursued a Masters in Secondary Education for Mathematics at Dowling College. John then took a position with the Wounded Warrior Project as their Director of Alumni. John developed WWP Alumni for 2 years and helped create the largest network of seriously disabled veterans from the war on terror. John has since worked in Operations Management, Business Development, and Government Contracting. John has appeared frequently on national television networks, including CNN, FOX News, ESPN, CBS, and NBC. He has also been spotlighted in major print publications, including the NY Times, Washington Post, Denver Post, Miami Herald, Sports Illustrated, and the NY Daily News. John has testified to the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs, helped pass legislation for veteran disability insurance that has paid out over $400 Million, and received multiple Congressional Certificates of Achievement. He remains an active source for media, government, and the public on issues related to returning injured veterans. John was married just before his deployment to Iraq to his wife Kristi who has been by his side ever since. John and Kristi live on Long Island, NY with their four children. John’s education, military experience, business acumen, and ability to overcome adversity combine to make him a dynamic leader with the ability to meet any challenge.

THOMAS PARKER

Thomas Parker was born and raised in Ronan, Montana. Shortly after graduating high school in 2009, Tommy joined the United States Marine Corps. After finishing Infantry training, Tommy was sent to be a rifleman with 3rd Battalion 5th Marine Regiment.

Upon arrival at his unit, he then deployed to the Helmand Province of Afghanistan in late September 2010 to engage in counter insurgency operations in support of the Global War on Terrorism.

During his third month in Afghanistan, on December 11 2010, LCPL Parkers deployment was cut short after he was severely injured from an improvised explosive device. The blast amputated his right leg slightly above the knee and his left leg at the hip, along with four of the fingers on his left hand, leaving only his thumb. After returning to the United States, Tommy spent the remainder of his service in the Marine Corps rehabilitating at Bethesda Naval Medical Center, and Balboa Naval Medical Center in San Diego, CA rehabilitating his injuries. He is now pursuing a degree in social linguistics at the University of Montana.

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