Wounded Warriors will hold a special "Lest We Forget" commemoration for September 11 in Grand Junction. One of the guests at Tuesday night's ceremony is a very unique individual, who truly captures the American spirit in a post 9/11 world.
Dana Bowman was an army soldier and a very active airman, until a tragic moment changed his life forever. While practicing a stunt for an air show, he and his partner accidentally collided.
The collision left Bowman's legs injured beyond repair. His partner was killed.
Bowman says it was the most trying experience of his life.
"I was in the hospital, my wife left me, I lost both my legs," said Bowman. "There was no direction, no path. I was still watching my teammates doing their jobs, their duty, their missions, and I was a spectator."
He was at Walter Reed for five months when he decided he couldn't let his disability get in the way of his life. He left the hospital and went back to his home in North Carolina.
"Nine months after my accident, I made a jump back with the United States Army, back on the Gold Knights," said Bowman. "I have over one thousand jumps now. I haven't given up."
Being able to jump again helped Bowman regain control of his life.
"I water ski, snow ski, scuba dive, fly airplanes, helicopters, you name it," said Bowman.
Tuesday, Bowman will be making a jump during the "Lest We Forget" celebration. It's a jump he says he's proud to make.
"Being able to jump in, bring that American flag in, bring that purple heart parachute in for all those men and women that have received those honors, giving back...that's what it's all about," said Bowman. "I was given a chance to live, and now I have to give back each and every day."
Event organizers from Wounded Warriors asked Bowman to jump because his triumph over tragedy is a sentiment they feel perfectly describes 9/11.
"The fact that Dana is a disabled veteran is all that much more so an important event because it shows you can do anything with some will and determination," said Rod England of Wounded Warriors. "That's the American spirit and that's what makes us tick."
"Lest We Forget" will take place at the Two Rivers Convention Center at 6pm.
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