Army veteran to share inspiring message

Sgt. 1st Class Dana Bowman will share his personal story of spirit and determination with campus at 9 a.m. Nov. 9 in the Upper Lodge. A double amputee, the retired U.S. Army veteran tours the nation stressing ability over disability.

A member of Special Forces and the Golden Knights, the army’s elite parachute team, Bowman lost both legs in a training accident on Feb. 6, 1994 in Yuma, Ariz. He and teammate Sgt. Jose Aguillon collided in midair practicing an aerial maneuver they had performed more than 50 times. Rather than crisscrossing, as the exercise required, the two skydivers slammed into each other at a combined speed of 300 miles per hour. Aguillon died instantly. Bowman’s legs were severed from his body. His parachute opened on impact. Doctors closed his leg wounds and stopped his internal bleeding.

Nine months later, Bowman became the first double amputee to re-enlist in the U.S. Army, skydiving with his commander into the ceremony.

Bowman has given more than 1,000 speeches in the last few years, striving to show physically challenged people can still work and excel in today’s society and military. Magazines including Sports Illustrated, Reader’s Digest, People and television programs Dateline, A Current Affair, Real TV, and NBC Person of the Week have featured him.

Bowman retired from the Army in 1996. He received his bachelor’s degree in commercial aviation from University of North Dakota Aerospace in Grand Forks, in May 2000.

He spends a great deal of his personal time working with other amputees and physically challenged individuals, especially at military hospitals.

Other Veteran’s Day events include an Office of Veteran and Military Student Affairs open house from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 11 in Cragmoor Hall 007. The celebration will feature refreshments, food and giveaways in honor of Veteran’s Day, and recognizing UCCS’ ranking as a military friendly school by GI Jobs magazine

The Office Of Veteran and Military Student Affairs will also sponsor a table at the Veteran’s Day Celebration Luncheon, from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Nov. 11 at the Broadmoor Hotel. UCCS representatives on hand to honor veterans include David Fenell, chair, Counseling and Human Services, David Schmidt, professor emeritus, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Susan Fisher, admissions advisor, Office of Registrar, Brad Bailey, accountant, Resource Management, Vince Wampole, student employee, Office of Veteran and Military Student Affairs, and Tonya Insani, coordinator, Office of Veteran and Military Student Affairs.

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