Warrior for Freedom: Challenge, Triumph and Change, The Major Ed Pulido Story
Based upon a true story, Major Ed recounts a life-changing incident in the life of Ed Pulido, a 19-year veteran with the U.S. Army and U.S. Army Reserve 75th Division. On August 17, 2004, Pulido, known for his patriotism and love for the military, was struck by a roadside bomb in the Iraq desert and seriously injured.The 36-year-old Hispanic officer was faced with multiple hard decisions throughout his long ordeal, including 17 operations, unclear support and miscommunication from his own division, numerous hospital stays, rehabilitative sessions, a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury and finally, among the toughest battles of all – whether to stay in his beloved military or become a medically discharged veteran. But where would he go? What would he do? How does one transition from a secure identity as a U.S. service member to a civilian with only one leg and no real passion, hope or purpose?These were questions numerous other U.S. troops were asking as the Iraq and Afghanistan wars dragged on – wars that had killed or injured more than 55,000 American troops, with many of the injured coming home to joblessness, homelessness and what the Department of Defense would soon call an “epidemic,” – an extraordinarily high number of suicides among veterans and active duty service members.Major Ed’s final decision, to leave the military, was based in part on a compelling desire to reach out to other wounded veterans who were seeking help for their injuries and post-war obstacles.
He had undergone his own challenges: severely injuring his leg in battle, suffering the trauma of amputation, struggling to regain his prior health and naturally positive spirit, learning to live as a person very different from the one who lay bleeding and wounded in the line of duty. In that quest, he eventually triumphed.
But it also changed him. He was no longer the spirited young warrior who set out to follow instructions without a great deal of thought and purpose. Now he had a true mission: to serve other wounded veterans with their ongoing needs and raise awareness about the sacrifices made to keep our nation whole.
“I was given a second chance to do something bigger than myself,” says Major Ed today. “Before August 17, 2004, I wasn’t educated about how important it was to have a purpose or a passion. But God tested me that day, gave me hope and another chance to do something really worthwhile.”
“Our veterans know what we can accomplish on the world stage, but they also want opportunities – to work, be productive and not be patronized or relegated to the notion they have returned home as damaged goods. Through my personal story, I want to help them reach their goals so that when they encounter their own set of challenges, they can also experience their own triumph and change.”
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