My dad took a day off in between coming home from Seattle and taking off to Houston to make Warrior Wishes come true at the 12th game of our 2015 mission to honor Warriors by hosting them at all 32 NFL stadiums in 1 season for our 4th year in a row!
MEET THE WARRIORS
ARMY SGT JUAN CARLOS VASQUEZ
Sgt. Vasquez, Juan Carlos (retired) joined the Army in May of 2008. His MOS was 12B (combat engineer). Sgt Vasquez deployed twice to Iraq in Jan ’09 – Dec ’09 and Jan’11 – July’11 & was on his third deployment, first to Afghanistan during May ’13 – Aug ’13, where he got seriously injured when a deep buried IED exploded under the vehicle he was in. Juan Carlos was medically evacuated to Germany then sent to San Antonio, Texas to recover. While in Germany he underwent a 13 hour surgery on his lower back.
At San Antonio Military Medical Center (SAMMC) he endured multiple surgeries to try & save his right leg, which eventually got amputated below the knee due to a severe infection. Sgt Vasquez’ right scapula (shoulder) was also broken but the doctors decided to not operate on it and let it heal on its own. A big area of his lower lip was missing and had to be sewn together right after the explosion. Juan Carlos planned to make a career out of the military, but due to his injuries he was medically retired in Dec ’15.
Vasquez is now taking college classes with an end goal of becoming a middle school counselor in the future. Juan Carlos was a huge Texans fan and an even bigger inspiration. He is a man who never gives up & pushes himself to get better every day. It was an honor to host him & we are thankful for his service & sacrifices.
ARMY SSG SHILO HARRIS
We had the honor of meeting Shilo over the summer when we hosted him & his kids at an Astros game on our “Battlefields to Ballfields mission. Shilo has seriously been thru hell & back. But after all he has been thru he is thanful to be alive, lives every day to the fullest and is one of the most inspiring men we have ever met.
Staff Sergeant Shilo Harris’ Humvee hit an IED while on patrol in Iraq in February of 2007. In that blast he lost his ears, part of his nose, some fingers and over a third of the skin on his body. He also lost three of his best friends. What followed was an agonizing road to recovery, which began with nearly two months in a medically induced coma. During that time he experienced a version of hell so terrifying, the memories still haunt him today. Harris shares his inspiring story in his memoir, Steel Will: My Journey Through Hell to Become the Man I was Meant to Be
“I am a man who has lived through hell. It is hard to share this experience. The carnage. The devastation. The loss. But I will do it. Because I will always know the horrors of war,” says Harris. “I will tell you what an explosion does to you on the outside. And I will tell you what an explosion does to you on the inside. And I will demonstrate what it means to live fearlessly, with a clear understanding of the Grace that can redeem mayhem.”
Shilo is now a motivational speaker. He hopes his story can help change the lives of others. To learn more about Shilo, Book him to speak at a future event or buy his book visit www.shiloharris.com or click on the Book below. It was an honor to host him at his first ever Texans game & make his Wish Come True. We cannot thank him enough for his service, sacrifices & for never giving up!
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