BRIAN KOLFAGE (KSNV MyNews3) –They risk their lives for our freedom, and if they make it home, many of them return severely wounded. The Swett Warriors Program honored some of the wounded war veterans Sunday night at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas.
“I was shot in the head by a sniper. I was shot behind my left ear and the bullet came out of my face. I would have died but a young navy corpsman came and saved my life that day,” said Lt. Col. Justin Constantine of the U.S. Marine Corps.
He was shot six years ago in Iraq, and has undergone several surgeries as well as lost vision in one eye. He has become an inspirational speaker to others.
“Teaching what I learned to apply to anyone who’s had a tough day. Because it all comes down to teamwork and drawing on yourself and knowing that you’re stronger than you think you are,” Constantine said.
Sr. Airman Brian Kolfage of the United States Air Force was also wounded, by a rocket.
“I walked out of my tent on September 11th, on 2004 and walked about 20 feet and a rocket landed right next to me,” Kolfage said.
He lost both legs and a hand instantly. He now proudly uses prosthetics. He has a positive outlook that quickly replaced anger after the explosion.
“Once I went to the hospital and I was at Walter Reed in Washington D.C. and I saw other guys who had head injuries and were mentally disabled and just seeing that, made me realize, you know, it’s just my limbs, I’ll move on. I’m happy that I have my head and it can function,” Kolfage said.
Constantine and Kolfage are just a couple of the wounded veterans being honored at the gala hosted the Swett Warriors program. It helps support troops transition back, particularly wounded vets.
Singer Wayne Newton, a guest at the gala, says the vets are so brave, even when they are in their pain.
“If you should ask any one of them, the first thing they’ll say is I want to get well to get back to my unit. So fighting for their country and fighting for this cause of ours as a country is the most important thing in their lives, outside of their families,” Newton said.
They want us to remember our troops are still out there facing danger.