Monday, November 12, 2012

This Veterans Day, Germanna cheering for war hero who made his football dream come true

Clemson fans shake Daniel Roriguez' hand before a game.

This Veterans’ Day is a special one for former Germanna Community College and Brooke Point High School student Daniel Rodriguez.  
Rodriguez, who earned both a Bronze Star and Purple Heart while serving in the U.S. Army in Afghanistan, has seen a dream come true this fall. 
 He made the Clemson football team as a walk-on, and led the Tigers onto the field carrying an American flag prior to the team’s  Oct. 21, Military Appreciation Day win over Virginia Tech.
 Rodriguez’ fight was far from over after tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan that saw him wounded and decorated for valor.
He was a football star at Brooke Point in Stafford County, but he was too small for a football scholarship. His father suffered a heart attack and passed away four days after Daniel graduated. Without a scholarship or a father, he felt he couldn't afford college, so he enlisted in the Army.
 In Afghanistan, when his unit of 60 men came under attack by 300 Taliban, he saw a buddy shot in the head. Daniel exposed himself to enemy fire to help his friend and was shot in the shoulder and took shrapnel in both legs as he fought his way through the Taliban to reach him and drag him out of the line of fire. Then he realized his buddy was dead. 

2 comments:

Susan R Wing said...

I would like to congratulate Daniel Rodriguez for his achievements in football and for earning Bronze Star and Purple Heart while serving in the U.S. Army in Afghanistan.
northwestern college

Anonymous said...

Daniel represents all that we hope for in those whom we educate: honor, perseverance, and compassion. His accomplishments serve as a reminder to us all that everyday people can rise to great things.