For the past three years, I have had the honor of being able to contribute to the Danny Dietz Memorial Team Roping benefitting the Navy SEAL Foundation. The Navy SEAL Foundation’s mission is to provide immediate and ongoing support to the Naval Special Warfare Community and their families. The amount of sacrifice that these families make for our Country is truly humbling. Danny Dietz was a Navy SEAL that was killed on 28 June 2005 during Operation Red Wings.
On this Memorial Day, I want to take a moment and tell you about a special man that I have had the privilege to get to know – his name is Lt. Jason Redman.
Lt. Redman has served his Country as a leader in the Navy SEALs and although he has retired from the Navy, continues to lead by example with his undying tenacity. Most people know that a Navy SEAL has to be able to “Embrace the Suck” and continue the mission no matter what happens; the mindset of these warriors is what truly sets them apart.
Lt. Redman was on a mission in Iraq in 2007 when he was shot multiple times with machine gun fire. One of the rounds entered at the jawline and came out of his nose, blowing off much of his right cheek and leaving his eyeball unsupported; he also lost much of his left arm. When telling me the story, Lt. Redman said, “Yeah, a hit like that can kind of take the wind out of your sails.” Despite his injuries, Lt. Redman said a little prayer and then got up to go home to his family.
While in the hospital recovering from his wounds, Lt. Redman gained the attention of the world by posting a sign on his door stating that he loved his Country and anyone feeling sorry for him should not enter the room. The sign became a symbol of the warrior spirit and has inspired many other wounded warriors. President George W. Bush invited Lt. Redman to the Oval Office in order to autograph the sign that he had posted on his door.
Getting to know Lt. Redman, I can tell you that he is much more than a Navy SEAL; he is a loving father, husband and a man of great faith.
While fighting his battles with his injuries, Lt. Redman started an organization that provides clothing to wounded veterans called Wounded Wear. Wounded Wear’s mission to is “Helps warriors rediscover the hero within.” Lt. Redman explained that after having half of his face blown off, he then had to deal with the “World of Stares” when he went into the public. Recognizing that many other wounded veterans were having a hard time dealing with this kind of attention, Lt. Redman was motivated to help other veterans. Some of the other needs that Lt. Redman saw were that clothes did not always fit the prosthetics that other veterans were wearing and that they needed specialized clothing to accommodate their needs if they didn’t want to wear sweatpants the rest of their lives.
I would encourage everyone to order a copy of Lt. Redman’s book “The Trident: The Forging and Reforging of a Navy SEAL Leader” in order to hear this epic story. Lt. Redman takes an honest and unfiltered look into his own life and continues to lead.