Homeland Magazine November 2023

Page 16

Longtime Warrior’s Journey Is a Labor of Love By Paris Moulden, Wounded Warrior Project

Brian Neuman served the country in the Army and was one of Wounded Warrior Project’s earliest warriors. Now, he helps serve injured veterans as part of WWP’s 20-year-long mission to honor and empower wounded warriors.

Serving in the U.S. military was beyond life-changing for Brian Neuman. It’s how he lost his arm. It’s how he died for two minutes on an operating table. It’s how he found his future career. It’s how he found love. Being in the military put him on a winding path, but it all led to personal and professional fulfillment. Brian almost lost his life in Iraq 19 years ago. While recovering from his combat injuries, he was introduced to Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP). Beginning in 2003, WWP started providing support and comfort to wounded 16

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service members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with backpacks filled with personal care items. Brian was one of WWP’s earliest warriors to receive that backpack – and one of its first employees. Twenty years later, WWP has grown to serve more than 200,000 post9/11 veterans and family members and is always evolving to meet their needs. For the Love of Service, and a Fellow Service Member In 1991, after Brian graduated high school, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and served in the infantry as an Army Ranger.

When he got out of the Army, he joined the Massachusetts National Guard. Although he already had a history of military service, his sense of patriotic duty was intensified by tragedy. Brian was motivated to do something in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks. “I still missed the military, but it never crossed my mind [to go back in] until that day,” Brian said. Brian was 30 years old and had the experience from his previous time in service, but it had been more than five years since he’d gotten out, so it was like starting over.

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