Veteran’s Day is the day , when once a year, we particularly note the contributions made by our military veterans, past and present. Without their sacrifices none of the prosperity and freedom we enjoy would be possible. This posting focuses on the efforts of Vets for Freedom whose mission, founders and organizers are described below.
Vets for Freedom is a nonpartisan organization established by combat veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Our mission is to educate the American public about the importance of achieving success in these conflicts by applying our first-hand knowledge to issues of American strategy and tactics -namely “the surge” in Iraq. We support policymakers from both sides of the aisle who have stood behind our great generation of American warriors on the battlefield, and who have put long-term national security before short-term partisan political gain.
Vets for Freedom is the leading voice representing troops and veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan.
Vets for Freedom Leadership
Pete Hegseth, Executive Director
First Lieutenant Pete Hegseth served in Iraq with the 3rd Brigade of the 101st Airborne Division for their deployment to Iraq from 2005-2006. Lt. Hegseth served as an infantry Platoon Leader in Baghdad during the nationwide elections in October and December 2005, and as a Civil-Military Operations officer in Samarra. Lt. Hegseth also served in Guantanamo Bay for a year on a security mission with his National Guard unit and currently serves in the 1-69 Infantry, New York Army National Guard. He holds the Bronze Star for his time in Iraq. Pete is a graduate of Princeton University and plans to pursue a Masters in Public Policy at the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton in the fall of 2008. Lt. Hegseth originally hails from Minnesota, but now lives in New York City with his wife.
Vets for Freedom Founders
|David is a former Army Staff Sergeant who served in the First Infantry Division (Task Force 2-2). David has been recommended for the Medal of Honor for actions he took in a fierce urban firefight in the Battle of Fallujah. He and his platoon were the subject of a Time magazine cover story title, Into The Hot Zone. David has also been nominated for the Distinguished Service Cross, and received the Silver Star, the Bronze Star for valor, and the Conspicuous Service Cross. Recently he was invited to attend the President’s State of the Union address as an honored guest. He has been inducted into the New York Veterans Hall of Fame. David returned to Iraq in June 2006 as an embedded reporter with the Iraqi Army. Bellavia’s memoir of his time in Iraq, House to House, will be released by Simon & Schuster in September 2007. He lives Western New York.
|Knox is a former Marine Infantry Captain who served three consecutive deployments to Iraq with Second Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion out of Camp Lejeune, N.C. He holds a Bronze Star for valor and a Purple Heart. Knox is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis and lives in Austin, Texas.|
|Mark Seavey is a former Army National Guard Sergeant. He served in Afghanistan for over a year as an infantry squad leader in the Third Battalion, 116 Infantry, based in Woodstock, Virginia. He works for a veterans’ organization in Washington and lives in Virginia. He is a graduate of The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina.|
|Joe Dan Worley|
|Former Hospitalman Third Class (HN3) Joe Dan “Doc” Worley served in Iraq as a US Navy Corpsman. He was an infantry platoon medic in Second Battalion, First Marines in Fallujah in 2004. In September 2004, Worley was targeted in a coordinated ambush as he was running to the aid of two comrades mortally wounded by an IED. Worley was hit by a secondary IED that blew off his leg, and he was shot five times in the attack. Miraculously, Worley survived and he was able to tie his own tourniquet and begin shouting instructs to aid in the treatment the other wounded Marines. After 18 months of rehabilitation at Bethesda and Walter Reed, he now lives in Georgia with his wife and daughter. He holds a Bronze Star for valor and a Purple Heart.|
|Read more about Joe Dan here.|
|Wade Zirkle is a former Marine Lieutenant who served two deployments to Iraq, first with Second Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion (Camp Lejeune, N.C.) and most recently with the Camp Pendleton, California-based infantry unit Second Battalion, First Marines (2/1) in 2004. Zirkle fought in the invasion of Iraq and the First Battle for Fallujah and is a recipient of The Purple Heart. In 2006 Zirkle returned to Iraq for the third time -this time as a civilian reporter- where he was embedded with the Iraq Army in Ramadi. Wade is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and is from Shenandoah County, Virginia.See more about Wade’s platoon here.|
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