Veterans Day

I wanted to share an experience I had on Tuesday, Veterans Day.  I attended the Veterans Day Ceremony at CU with a Vietnam Veteran.  I’m embarrassed to say that this is the first Veterans event I have attended and I left very humbled and feeling blessed.  The sacrifices these men, women, their family and friends, make is far reaching.  It does not end on the battlefield, for some it lasts a lifetime.
Here is a story I wanted to share.
Sergeant Neil Duncan
Retired U.S. Army
As a leader of a small team of elite paratroopers, Sgt. Duncan was deployed to Afghanistan in 2005. After spending 10 months conducting combat and humanitarian operations in several remote regions, Sgt. Duncan’s vehicle was attacked with an improvised explosive device (IED) in December 2005. He was severely injured and found himself fighting for his life.  Five days later, he woke up in the hospital missing both of his legs, with his jaw wired shut and breathing through a tube in his neck. While undergoing rehabilitation at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, the Sergeant made the decision to face the challenge head on and proceeded to surpass all expectations of recovery and rehabilitation.  Within months of injury, Sgt. Duncan was walking and running.  This drive to push the bar higher continued after he retired from the military in 2007, at the age of 23.
After relocating to Colorado, Sgt. Duncan began training for the daunting feat of summiting the world’s largest freestanding mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro.  In the summer of 2010, he successfully led a group of combat-wounded veterans up to the peak of that mountain.
Sgt. Duncan continues to pursue his goal of climbing the tallest peaks on all seven continents.  He also continues to push the bar in his professional achievements.  After receiving his degree in finance from the University of Denver, his pursuits have led him from real estate private equity to asset management at J.P. Morgan, and into his current venture of operating and growing a private energy investment fund.
Sgt. Duncan continues to remain active with several veteran non-profit organizations.  Notably, Sgt. Duncan serves as part of the grant committee for The Infinite Hero Foundation, a part of Oakley Inc, where he advises on both charity giving and investment activities of Infinite Hero.
Sgt. Duncan spoke at the Ceremony and I was inspired by his strength, both mentally and physically. His drive to achieve is incredible.  Here are a couple of links that give more information on Sgt. Duncan http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/10/AR2010081006095.html  http://magazine.du.edu/magazine/climbing-back/
I’m sharing this because I know that each and everyone of us has drive like Sgt. Duncan.  I have seen that drive in each and everyone of you while you push yourselves through a tough workout, the personal obstacles you overcome, your decisions to start new careers and go back to school, your willingness to volunteer in our community and gift back, to stand in front of a group of young men and women and give them your knowledge and support, to be the President of a company and lead your staff to great things, to give so much love to your family, to become an Olympic athlete, your strength when getting through difficult losses, to successfully own your own company, to support your aging family members and to give them so much love and support.  I am blessed to be able to work with so many amazing people.

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