USO Warrior Week: Navy SEAL uses injuries to create life-altering moments

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – One of the service members who we honor on USO Warrior week is Former Navy SEAL Lieutenant, father and husband – Jason Redman. He is also the founder of the Combat Wounded Coalition.

Former Lt. Jason Redman joined the Navy on September 11, 1992 and spent 21 years serving our country.

In September of 2007, while acting as Assault Force Commander to capture an Al-Qaeda high value individual, Redman’s Assault Team came under heavy machine gun and small arms fire. He was severely wounded in the ensuing firefight. He took two rounds in the left elbow, it almost took off his arm.

“I took a round in the face, obviously a lot of damage,” says Redman. “In a split second you go from being this incredibly athletic, making some huge differences you could possibly make in your life, going after a determined enemy, working with talented professional people, working with millions of dollars in equipment, the United States Government entrusts us to do and suddenly you find yourself in a hospital bed, missing limbs, disfigured, mentally scarred and you have to figure out what you are going to do with your life.”

On the battlefield, he rose to his feet and was taken to Bethesda Medical center. Redman had almost 40 surgeries in a span of four years.

But he used the catastrophic event to continue to raise awareness of the sacrifices of America’s military forces and their families. Redman created Wounded Wear, a Non-Profit organization designed to provide clothing kits and clothing modifications to America’s wounded warriors along with apparel for Americans to sport.

Much like the moment on the battlefield when Al-Qaeda fighters tried to keep him down, he rose to his feet and now he’s helping wounded warriors do the same with the Combat Wounded Coalition.

“The Combat Wounded Coaliton brings together non-profits and for-profits and connecting them with wounded warriors for their needs,” says Redman. “I want to show these guys and gals that there injuries can truly be a gift that they can motivate and understand.”

His mission to motivate continues at USO warrior week – where hundreds will gather in Virginia Beach to heal together, to demonstrate pride, power, purpose, peace – the pillars of Redman’s Combat Wounded Coalition.

“Be proud of your injuries, show other people what you’ve been through wear it as a badge of honor,” says Redman.

According to Redman’s website, his personal military decorations include the Bronze Star Medal with Valor, Purple Heart, Navy Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Navy Achievement Medal (five awards), and Combat Action Ribbon (two awards).

★ WARRIOR WEEK EVENTS ★

MON, MAY 29 12AM – FRI, JUNE 2 11:59PM
United Healthcare Memorial Challenge (Service Members Only)

TUE, MAY 30 1PM – 4PM
Horsemanship Program and Trail Ride (Service Members Only)

WED, MAY 31 10AM – 1PM
Horsemanship Program and Trail Ride (Service Members Only)

THU, JUNE 1 10AM – 1PM
Horsemanship Program and Trail Ride (Service Members Only)

FRI, JUNE 2 8AM – 5PM
Hearts for Heroes (Service Members Only)

FRI, JUNE 2 9AM – 12PM
Virginia Beach Adaptive Watersports (Service Members Only)

FRI, JUNE 2 12PM – SUN, JUNE 4 5PM
USO Military Village (Open to the Public)

FRI, JUNE 2 12PM – SUN, JUNE 4 5PM
USO Patriot Park (Open to the Public)

FRI, JUNE 2 1PM – 4PM
Virginia Beach Adaptive Watersports (Service Members Only)

FRI, JUNE 2 7PM – 10PM
Patriotic Festival – Old Dominion (Open to the Public)

SAT, JUNE 3 8AM – 3PM
Heroes on the Water (Service Members Only)

SAT, JUNE 3 8AM
Honor Ride (Service Members Only) – Register Here

SAT, JUNE 3 830AM – 12AM
Monster Mash (Open to the Public)

SAT, JUNE 3 9AM – 3PM
Wave Warriors (Service Members Only)

SAT, JUNE 3 9AM – 12PM
Virginia Beach Adaptive Watersports (Service Members Only)

SAT, JUNE 3 1PM – 4PM
Virginia Beach Adaptive Watersports (Service Members Only)

SAT, JUNE 3 2PM – 6PM
Jumping for a Purpose (Service Members Only)

SAT, JUNE 3 7PM – 10PM
Patriotic Festival – Darius Rucker (Open to the Public) – Get Tickets

SUN, JUNE 4 4PM – 7PM
Patriotic Festival – Jake Owen (Open to the Public) – Get Tickets