One of the benefits of following these stories is becoming friends with these Warriors - Dan Gade is one of those stories. Dan was the first full leg amputee of the war. The infamous bacteria from Iraq tried it's best to kill him. Your prayers and thoughts strengthened him, but his incredible family and his own strength of character also had a lot to do with his success. His victories are incredible.
Later, Dan and Wendy Gade had twins and then, last year, Dan completed his first triathlon since being wounded in 2005. Before Iraq, Dan was a triathlete. This is what I wrote:
As a friend of Dan's, I can't say that I'm surprised. Proud of him, damn proud, but not surprised.
[Forget the triathlon, Twins would kick my @$$]
Here is a photo of Dan in this year's Arizona Ironman triathlon during the ride portion.
Dan was running the race for Operation Rebound which has helped many soldiers, including Dan. Operation Rebound, a part of Challenged Athletes Foundation, helps service men and women injured in training or combat pursue an active lifestyle through physical fitness and athletics. CAF’s mission is clear: give those with the desire to live active, competitive lifestyles every opportunity to compete in the sports they love.
You can go here to support Dan and Operation Rebound (even if it is after the race - which is my fault for posting this late).
So how did Dan do in the race?
Pretty damn good. At mile 50 on the bike (pictured above) and going uphill, he passed a triathlete who muttered under his breath, "Oh my God, I suck".
Here is video of Dan at the finish line after 12 hours and 50 minutes of a grueling race:
Just thought you ought to see what your prayers and support can do for an American Soldier...