Wounded Warrior Project Honorary Captains

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As part of Saturday’s game against Florida, three servicemen from the Wounded Warrior Project will serve as honorary captains for the team. Here’s a look at these three men:

Steven Diaz, U.S. Marine Corps (Ret.) Corporal

DiazpicWWP

  • Served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 2003- 2006
  • Student at A.C. Flora High School in Columbia prior to enlistment
  • Spent three years in Okinawa, Japan before volunteering to serve in Iraq with the 2nd Military Police from Camp Lejeune, NC
  • Injured by an improvised explosive device (IED) on March 25, 2005 in Al Asad, Iraq while riding in an unarmored Humvee guarding convoys and patrolling mobile supply routes searching for IED
  • As a result of the blast, he suffered a traumatic brain injury, is blind in his left eye, has limited movement in his right foot, and suffers from seizures and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Endured numerous surgeries and physical therapy during 20 months of recovery at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, MD.
  • Active with the Marine Corps League in Columbia
  • Committed to helping other severely injured veterans with their recovery
  • Currently a student at Midlands Tech
  • Favorite sport is football
  • Frequently involved with church functions.

Dan Nevins, U.S. Army (Ret) Staff Sgt.

Nevins WWP

  • Began 15-year military career (eight active duty / seven national guard) after high school as a paratrooper stationed in Germany
  • Deployed to Balad, Iraq in February 2004 with the California Army National Guard’s A Company, 579th Combat Engineer Battalion as a member of Task Force Tacoma
  • Served as an infantry squad leader
  • Nine months later, on November 10, 2004, while on an early morning combat mission, an improvised explosive device (IED) detonated beneath his vehicle, killing the driver
  • Less than a half-hour after the explosion, his left leg was amputated below the knee in a tent in Iraq
  • He also suffered a traumatic brain injury and his right leg was severely damaged, eventually requiring more than 30 surgeries
  • He spent 18 months recovering at Walter Reed Army Medical Center
  • Following medical retirement in August 2006 he relocated with his family to Jacksonville, Fla.
  • Appointed community outreach manager for the PGA TOUR in April 2007
  • One year later he suffered a setback when a recurrent bone infection in his right leg necessitated the amputation of his right leg below the knee
  • Following surgery he spent four months in recovery and rehabilitation back at Walter Reed
  • Returned to the PGA TOUR in July 2008, where his perseverance, positive attitude and passion for helping other wounded soldiers continued to be a source of inspiration
  • Joined the Wounded Warrior Project full-time in March 2009 and serves as director of major gifts.

Michael G. Williams, U.S. Air Force Tech Sgt.

Williams WWP

  • Currently at Walter Reed Army Medical Center on active duty recovering from injuries sustained August 2, 2009 in Afghanistan
  • Explosive ordnance disposal specialist in the U.S. Air Force…
  • Stepped on a landmine while defeating an improvised explosive device (IED) on a bridge
  • As a result of his injury, his left leg was amputated below the knee and he suffered major tissue damage to his right leg
  • Is able to walk again with daily physical therapy
  • Very proud of his military service.
  • Native of Summerville, SC
  • Has an 11-month-old son
  • His father retired from the U.S. Air Force
  • Loves country music and is a fan of Toby Keith
  • Favorite sport is football
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7 Comments

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7 responses to “Wounded Warrior Project Honorary Captains

  1. Robert Vaughn

    Many thanks to these true heroes. I am proud and honored that these guys will serve as honorary captains for my beloved Gamecocks. This Gamecock fan salutes you and thanks you for your service and sacrifice.

  2. John C Brockmiller

    USC is to be highly commended for honoring these wonderful American Patriots of Freedom.
    We should all honor their service and sacrafice. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart.
    As a student of USC and a soldier at Ft Jackson in the 70’s I will be watching this special game from NY. Go Cocks! and God Bless America.

  3. D. Gibbons

    I am proud to see that S. Carolina is wearing those uniforms in respect of the Wounded Warrior project. I am an active duty soldier, and my kid brother was killed in Iraq. The Wounded Warrior project is an amazing thing, and I salute the players, team and all involved for such great recognition to such a great organization. Small things like this make me proud to serve.

  4. Jerry Holland

    I’ve been watching the game and had missed the beginning. I turned it on, rooting for my Gators as is normal. When I saw the uniforms on the Gamecock players, I came to your website to find out what it was all about.

    I’m moved. It’s a great thing you’re doing for the project and I applaud you and the organization. As a retired military member, it is touching to see the support of the wounded warriors.

    Isn’t it cool that we can put our differences aside when it comes to the support of those who have given so much to defend our country?

    Thank you and God Bless America.

  5. diana delaney mcnulty

    i just wanted to say how wonderful it was to see your team support the wounded warrior project. I live in Ohio and wish I would see more teams in Big East do such wonderful things for our troops.

  6. Joe Farrell

    What a Beautiful performance during the halftime of the Florida game. Really done very nicely.

  7. Cammy Groome

    The Gamecock Nation made us all very proud in their tribute on Saturday to the Wounded Warriors. All Veterans deserved the honor bestowed upon the soldiers present at USC vs Florida game. Congratulations to the Williams family for the fine example Michael is for so many others.

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