Air Force photograph by Susan A. Romano
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Overcoming Adversity

Through tragedy, loss and amputation, Airman learns ‘new norm’

Posted June 23, 2017 by Susan A. Romano

In July 2011, August O’Niell was on a rescue mission in Afghanistan when his helicopter came under fire from enemy insurgents. Several rounds pierced the chopper, with one tearing through O’Niell’s lower limbs.

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Overcoming Adversity

A Trek for Life Thirteen wounded veterans are selected for Raytheon, No Barriers expedition

Posted September 25, 2015 by Raytheon Public Affairs

It’s an adventure that will change lives. The nonprofit No Barriers Warriors has selected 13 highly decorated wounded warriors for its Veteran Wilderness Expedition through the Grand Canyon, which takes place Oct. 12-21. No Barriers adventure treks are designed to empower wounded warriors, helping them to overcome obstacles and unleash their potential. Raytheon is underwriting the expedition. It will push…

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Overcoming Adversity

Premature twin miracles refuse to accept medical odds

Posted November 30, 2016 by Airman 1st Class Gabrielle Spradling

When Matthew and his wife, Mandy, were pregnant with their twin boys, Dean and Luke, she began to feel contractions at 23 weeks, which is significantly shorter than the average 40-week pregnancy.

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Air Force photograph by Staff Sgt. Katherine Spessa
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Overcoming Adversity

Deployed wounded warrior completes back-to-back tours

Posted January 6, 2017 by Staff Sgt. Katherine Spessa

“Being here, you get treated like a normal person, not like an amputee. Not like an injured guy,” said Tech. Sgt. Jason Caswell, as he added more 45-pound plates to his barbell.

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Overcoming Adversity

Paralyzed vet goes from wheelchair to mountain bike

Posted September 23, 2016 by Shannon Collins

Despite being partially paralyzed after a mortar hit his team during a road-clearing mission in Iraq, Carlos Labarca helped his badly injured captain move out of the kill zone. The Army staff sergeant had to be forced by his base commander to board the helicopter home. He didn't want to leave his troops behind.

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Air Force illustration by Staff Sgt. Regina Edwards
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Overcoming Adversity

From cotton fields to airfields

Posted December 2, 2016 by Staff Sgt. Regina Edwards

Retired Air Force Master Sgt. Leroy Mazell Smith, has lived a life few could imagine. 

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Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber
Overcoming Adversity

Quadriplegics share their strength at luncheon

Posted November 6, 2015 by Rebecca Amber

Members of the 412th Test Wing recognized National Disability Employment Awareness Month during a luncheon hosted by the 412th Communications Squadron Oct. 28 at Club Muroc.

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Air Force photograph by Airman 1st Class Elora J. McCutcheon
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Overcoming Adversity

Airman, leaders battle cancer together

Posted April 12, 2017 by Airman 1st Class Elora J. McCutcheon

Airman 1st Class Celeste Black, a crew chief with the 69th Maintenance Squadron, walked gracefully past the wing of an RQ-4 Global Hawk with her arm stretched out to touch the huge remotely piloted aircraft. From an outside perspective, it’s not evident that Black battled ovarian cancer less than a year ago.

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Air Force photograph by Senior Airman Rose Gudex
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Overcoming Adversity

Face of Defense: Pregnancy saves Airman’s life

Posted January 27, 2017 by Senior Airman Rosemary Gudex

Over nearly a decade of Air Force service, Staff Sgt. Jacquelyn Combs, 21st Force Support Squadron noncommissioned officer-in-charge of customer support at the military personnel section at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., has had more than her share of adversity to battle, but she comes back stronger every time she gets knocked down.

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Air Force photograph by Tech. Sgt. Vernon Young Jr.
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Overcoming Adversity

Unique rehab center gets injured Airmen back on duty

Posted November 18, 2016 by Sean Kimmons

Not long after receiving innovative care for serious combat-related injuries, 2nd Lt. Marc Esposito gave his future wife a tour of the unique rehabilitation center that helped the Air Force special operator get back to jumping out of planes.

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