Wounded Veteran: ‘We Have To Protect Our Own And Honor The Fallen’

news
Kirstie Ennis takes the stage at the annual Stand Up for Heroes event in New York, NY.
Photo courtesy of the Bob Woodruff Foundation

Stand Up for Heroes, hosted by the Bob Woodruff Foundation and the New York Comedy Festival, held its ninth show Nov. 10. The event, meant to honor wounded veterans, featured comedians like Ray Romano, John Oliver, and Jon Stewart, and topped off the night with a performance from Bruce Springsteen.


But of the veterans, all seated with their loved ones in the front rows at the Madison Square Garden theater, there was one who stood out — former Marine Kirstie Ennis. Ennis took the stage to tell the story of how she went from being a wounded warrior to a survivor to a 2016 Paralympic Games hopeful.

On June 23, 2012, Ennis, a helicopter door gunner, was involved in a helicopter accident that left her body and mind scarred.

After she said, “I endured 38 surgeries to put my face and body back together, suffered a traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, broken bones, and open wounds of all sorts.”

With two years of speech, cognitive, and physical therapy, as well as mental health care, she stood on the stage and told the crowd about the duties she and all other veterans still have to their brothers and sisters in service.

“Like everyone else in the front rows tonight, I do not want anyone’s pity. We want people to push and challenge us to be better in order to grasp a new sense of direction and purpose,” she said. “Even after we separate from the military, we still have duties to the men and women who served alongside us; we have to protect our own and honor our fallen.”

And that is what the Stand Up for Heroes event sought to do.

After he was injured by a roadside bomb while reporting in Iraq in 2006, Bob Woodruff started his foundation and organized the show, which raises funds to assist injured service members and their families.

Overall, this year’s event was the most successful in its near decade of fundraising, bringing in more than $6 million.

Watch Marine vet Kirstie Ennis talk about the Walk of Britain, a thousand-mile journey across Scotland, Wales and England.

It didn't take long for a central theme to emerge at the funeral of U.S. Marine Pfc. Joseph Livermore, an event attended by hundreds of area residents Friday at Union Cemetery in Bakersfield.

It's a theme that stems from a widespread local belief that the men and women who have served in the nation's armed forces are held in particularly high esteem here in the southern valley.

"In Bakersfield and Kern County, we celebrate our veterans like no place else on Earth," Bakersfield Chief of Police Lyle Martin told the gathering of mourners.

Read More Show Less

An Air Force Special Tactics combat controller that "delivered thousands of pounds of munition" during a close-range 2007 firefight in Afghanistan was awarded the Silver Star on Friday.

Read More Show Less

ROCKFORD — Delta Force sniper Sgt. First Class James P. McMahon's face was so badly battered and cut, "he looked like he was wearing a fright mask" as he stood atop a downed Black Hawk helicopter and pulled free the body of a fellow soldier from the wreckage.

That's the first description of McMahon in the book by journalist Mark Bowden called "Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War." It is a detailed account of the horrific Battle of the Black Sea fought in the streets of Mogadishu, Somalia, in October 1993. It claimed the lives of 18 elite American soldiers.

Read More Show Less

The July arrests of 16 Camp Pendleton Marines in front of their 800-person battalion was unlawful and a violation of their rights, a Marine Corps judge ruled Friday.

Read More Show Less

Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher will retire as a chief petty officer now that President Donald Trump has restored his rank.

"Before the prosecution of Special Warfare Operator First Class Edward Gallagher, he had been selected for promotion to Senior Chief, awarded a Bronze Star with a "V" for valor, and assigned to an important position in the Navy as an instructor," a White House statement said.

"Though ultimately acquitted on all of the most serious charges, he was stripped of these honors as he awaited his trial and its outcome. Given his service to our Nation, a promotion back to the rank and pay grade of Chief Petty Officer is justified."

The announcement that Gallagher is once again an E-7 effectively nullifies the Navy's entire effort to prosecute Gallagher for allegedly committing war crimes. It is also the culmination of Trump's support for the SEAL throughout the legal process.

On July 2, military jurors found Gallagher not guilty of premeditated murder and attempted murder for allegedly stabbing a wounded ISIS fighter to death and opening fire at an old man and a young girl on separate occasions during his 2017 deployment to Iraq.

Read More Show Less