On March 10th, 2013, the 3rd Annual Wounded Warriors Reception was hosted by the Old Goats, an association of graduates from the Naval Academy, at the Coronado Community Center. “Tonight is a celebration of four wounded warriors and their families,” said Sam Ward, an Old Goat who helped plan the reception. “Everyone present tonight is here to recognize and thank members of the military.” The Old Goats, whose namesake is the mascot of the Naval Academy, was formed in 2008 at the class of 1960’s reunion. “We had some excess funds and decided to do something rewarding with our money,” said Ben Hallowell, another Old Goat and the event coordinator. The group wanted to celebrate the service of their naval brethren who were injured while on active duty, by treating them to a variety of social and professional networking opportunities.
A display at the event shows all original Old Goats, who hail from across the United States.
The event at the community center was the culmination of a celebratory weekend in Coronado generously provided by the following community leaders:
eCoronado.com – Steve Johnson
Hotel del Coronado – Lauren Ash Donoho
Loews Coronado Bay Resort – Brian Johnson
Brigantine/Miguels restaurant – Mike Morton and family
Coronado Brewing Company – Ron and Rick Chapman
Village Pizzeria, Lil Piggy’s, Mootime – David Spatafore
Coronado Island Marriott – Tim Herrmann
Bistro d’Asia – Alaa Elsadek
La Terrazza Ristorante – Martha Borrego
Coronado Boathouse 1887 – Marty Jensen
Grumpy Dan’s at the Clubhouse – Dan Parker
Costa Azul – Brant Sarber
Vigiluccis – Daniel Bruner
Village Theater – Lance Alsbaugh
City of Coronado
The honorees included: SGT Dominic Esquibel USMC and his wife JoAnna, SSgt Jason Gibson USA and his wife Kara, SPC Kyle Beddow USA and his wife Jenny and LT Jay Redman USN and his wife Erica.
Redman is not only a Wounded Warrior but a motivational speaker. After enlisting in the navy at age seventeen, he became a navy SEAL just a few years later. In September 2007, he was injured during a thirty-five minute firefight in Iraq in which he was struck twice in the arm and once in the face.
Attendees listen to Jay Redman’s speech
“Straight off the battlefield, knowing how badly he was wounded, [Redman] had only three questions: One Are my guys okay?’, Two Has my wife been told?’, Three Am I going to be just as pretty?'” said Irish Flynn, a former navy SEAL who introduced Redman. After the injury, Redman underwent thirty-seven excruciating reconstructive surgeries. “All my friends now assure me that after all of the doctors’ hard work, getting shot in the face was the best thing that ever happened to me,” he laughed. Redman went on to reiterate that his story is not unique hundreds of thousands of wounded soldiers have had similar experiences. In closing, Redman said “I have dedicated this second chance at life to speak on behalf of my warrior brothers’ service, sacrifice, and heroism.”
SPC Kyle Beddow USA and his wife Jenny are presented with a key to the city
Each honoree was presented with a key to the city by Mayor Casey Tanaka. “There is no finer aspect of my job than being able to represent the 25,000 citizens of Coronado in saying thank you to real heroes,” said Tanaka.
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