U.S. Army - Sergeant 1st Class Dana Bowman
Founder / Director - HALO for Freedom Warrior Foundation
Dana Bowman has astounded the nation and the world with his drive, determination, and will to succeed. He is a retired Sergeant First Class with the U.S. Army where he was a Special Forces Soldier and a member of the U.S. Army’s elite parachute team, the Golden Knights. Dana Bowman is a double amputee. He lost his legs in an accident during the annual Golden Knights training in Yuma, Arizona, in 1994.
On February 6,1994, Bowman gained worldwide attention when he and his teammate Sgt. Jose Aguillon collided in midair during the team’s annual training.
Aguillon died instantly. Bowman’s legs were severed from his body, one above the knee and one below the knee.
Nine months later, he turned this tragedy into a triumph when he became the first double amputee to re-enlist in the United States Army. This achievement is just one example of Bowman’s many successes under adverse circumstances. Dana has been fortunate to have the opportunity to let his speeches touch so many from the physically challenged to the able-bodied. He strives to show physically challenged people can still work and excel in today’s society and military. Dana emphasizes the words amputee and uselessness are not synonymous.
Dana has given more than 400 speeches in the last few years and has been featured in magazines such as Sports Illustrated, Reader’s Digest, People and many more. There have also been numerous television programs which focused on Dana and his story. Some of the programs include: Dateline, A Current Affair, Real TV, NBC Person of the Week, Day and Date and Extra.
Dana retired from the United States Army in 1996. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in commercial aviation at the University of North Dakota in May of 2000.
Dana spends a great deal of his personal time working with other amputees and disabled or physically challenged people. As the founder and President of the HALO for Freedom Warrior Foundation Dana continues his selfless work giving back to the brave men and women that have given so much of themselves for our country. Dana jumps the "HALO for Freedom Warrior Foundation" Logo in to the many events he addresses annually and tells his audiences about our group and our cause.
U.S. Army - Chief W3 Matt Chancey
Chief Warrant Officer 3 Matt Chancey is a native of Blue Ridge, GA. In 1994, he entered the Army at the age of 17 and in 2000, became a graduate and commissioned as an Infantry Officer from North Georgia College and State University in Dahlonega, GA.
Matt served as a Rifle Platoon Leader and Executive Officer with 1-12 Infantry out of Fort Carson, Colorado, during the invasion of Iraq in 2003-2004.
In 2005, Matt was selected to serve as a Ranger Instructor and Company Commander at the 5th Ranger Training Battalion (Mountain Phase) in Dahlonega, GA. Upon the completion of that assignment, he resigned his commission to become a Warrant Officer pilot in Army Aviation, flying the OH-58D Kiowa Scout Helicopter where he was assigned to 6th Squadron 17th Cavalry Regiment, Fort Wainwright Alaska.
During this assignment, Matt served as Pilot in Command, Air Mission Commander, and an Instructor Pilot both deployed and stateside.
In 2013, he was assigned as an Instructor Pilot for 7th Squadron, 17th Cavalry Squadron, 101st Airborne (Air Assualt) Division, Fort Campbell, Kentucky.
He is currently undergoing training in the AH-64 Apache Helicopter Aircraft Qualification Course in which he is slated to become an Instructor Pilot and return to Fort Campbell, Kentucky
Medal of Honor Recipient - U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Don Jenkins
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Staff Sergeant Jenkins (then Private First Class.), Alpha Company, distinguished himself while serving as a machine gunner on a reconnaissance mission. When his company came under heavy crossfire from an enemy complex, Staff Sergeant Jenkins unhesitatingly maneuvered forward to a perilously exposed position and began placing suppressive fire on the enemy. When his own machine gun jammed, he immediately obtained a rifle and continued to fire into the enemy bunkers until his machine gun was made operative by his assistant. He exposed himself to extremely heavy fire when he repeatedly both ran and crawled across open terrain to obtain resupplies of ammunition until he had exhausted all that was available for his machine gun. Displaying tremendous presence of mind, he then armed himself with 2 antitank weapons and, by himself, maneuvered through the hostile fusillade to within 20 meters of an enemy bunker to destroy that position. After moving back to the friendly defensive perimeter long enough to secure yet another weapon, a grenade launcher, Staff Sergeant Jenkins moved forward to a position providing no protection and resumed placing accurate fire on the enemy until his ammunition was again exhausted. During this time he was seriously wounded by shrapnel. Undaunted and displaying great courage, he moved forward 100 meters to aid a friendly element that was pinned down only a few meters from the enemy. This he did with complete disregard for his own wound and despite having been advised that several previous rescue attempts had failed at the cost of the life of 1 and the wounding of others. Ignoring the continuing intense fire and his painful wounds, and hindered by darkness, he made 3 trips to the beleaguered unit, each time pulling a wounded comrade back to safety. Staff Sergeant Jenkins' extraordinary valor, dedication, and indomitable spirit inspired his fellow soldiers to repulse the determined enemy attack and ultimately to defeat the larger force. Staff Sergeant Jenkins risk of his life reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.
U.S. Air Force - Senior Airman Scott Palomino
Senior Airman Palomino was a 1C5, Aerospace Control and Warning Systems Operator, assigned to the 603rd Air Control Squadron at Aviano Air Base, Italy. As a 1C5, he tracked and controlled armed military aircraft. His group provided Theater Air Control for all military branches during hostile combat and missions.
On 10 April 2004, Senior Airman Palomino was deployed to Balad Air Base in Iraq, performing Theater Air Support missions. He lost his left leg below the knee when he and two other soldier came under mortar fire. The attack injured two of them and killed A1C Antoine J. Holt.
After losing his leg, Senior Airman Palomino attended Texas A&M University-Commerce where he pledged Sigma Chi the second semester of his freshman year. It was during his time at Texas A&M that he his wife, Amanda Michelle Palomino.
Senior Airman Palomino was on the 2013 and 2014 USAF Wounded Warrior Wheelchair Basketball Team, Sitting Volleyball, and Track & Field Team. He took second place in the 1600 M run with a time of 5 min. 34 sec. at the 2013 Wounded Warrior Games, and was the USA Team Captain for the 2014 Invictus Games in London, England, where he also competed in Wheelchair Basketball and Track & Field.
Senior Airman Palomino is currently the Director of the Airmen & Family Readiness Center at Carswell AFB, Texas, and a Certified Personal Financial Counselor.
Senior Airman Palomino is a Purple Heart Recipient, Operation Iraqi Freedom Combat Wounded Veteran, and received the Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Force Senior Airman Below-the-Zone Promotion, and was a United States Air Force Basic Training Honor Graduate.
U.S. Army - Corporal Adam Ralston
Adam Ralston served as an Airborne Ranger Infantryman with Second Ranger Battalion Seventy-fifth Ranger Regiment from 1996-2001. While assigned there he served as a Grenadier, M-249 SAW gunner, M-240 Machine gunner, Machine Gun Team Leader, RTO and one Team Leader.
Corporal Ralston has completed the following schools: Basic Airborne course, Ranger Indoctrination Program, Ranger School, and SOT. Mr. Ralston has been awarded the following badges or awards: Army Service Ribbon, National Defense Medal, Achievement Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Army Commendation Medal x2, Expert Infantryman’s Badge, Ranger Tab, Basic Parachutist Wings, German Basic Parachutists Wings, and the Expert Marksmanship Badge.
Upon leaving the service due to a back injury, Corporal Ralston continued to serve as an Independent Contractor having completed multiple tours in support of the GWOT. He Currently resides in Cincinnati, Ohio and is a member of Team Fastrax and a professional skydiver and instructor.
U.S. Marines - Sergeant John "Tig" Tiegen (Benghazi)
(CIA Global Response Staff Team Member in Battle of Benghazi)
John “Tig” Tiegen - born in 1976 - is a former Marine Sergeant from Colorado who spent several years as a security contractor for Blackwater. He served the company on missions in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq before going to work for the CIA’s Global Response Staff.
Quiet and precise, the married father of infant twins was in the midst of his third trip to Benghazi, Libya for the CIA's GRS when the attacks of September 11, 2012 occurred. He was the most experienced in the city and assisted in saving the lives of many. Tiegen received the Award For Heroism in recognition of his bravery and valor.
He is the co-author of 13 Hours along with members of the Annex Security team and NYT's best-selling author, Mitchell Zuckoff.
U.S. Army - Margaret Tiegen
Margaret Tiegen, wife of John “Tig” Tiegen, is a woman of courage and accomplishment in her own right. Margaret and Tig met in 1998 just before she enlisted in the United States Army where she served as a 63B light-wheeled diesel mechanic.
“Little but mighty” describes her military performance.
At a diminutive five feet two inches, Margaret exerted might through determination and a willingness to accept the challenges of her unit and compete with her fellow soldiers.
Margaret’s injuries resulted from her work as a mechanic on 5 ton trucks, Humvees and 2 and a half ton trucks as well as fuel tankers and water tankers; carrying replacement parts weighing up to 150 pounds over distances longer than a football field.
Demonstrating enthusiasm for all the opportunities offered to her unit, Margaret achieved her E-5 rank in just two years, won the truck rodeo on her base, and graduated first in her class for Vehicle Recovery. Margaret operated a huge military tow truck to recover up-ended trucks from ravines demonstrating her ability to operate heavy equipment with skill and accuracy.
The Tiegens were married shortly after she completed boot camp. Margaret deployed to Kuwait a few weeks after September 11, 2001 and completed her military service in 2002.
She returned to Kuwait as an overseas contractor for the next five years moving soldiers to and from camps in Kuwait and the “green zone” in Bagdad, Iraq.
While Tig continued his work as an overseas contractor, Margaret returned to Colorado to build their home outside of Colorado Springs. Doing much of the work herself, the home was completed in 18 months.
Currently, Margaret runs a small custom cake business from her home and raises their four-year-old twins with John “Tig”, her husband of 17 years.