Retired Marine Corps Capt. Dan Moran, who was severely wounded in Iraq, has committed himself to serving wounded warriors, veterans and his community. Courtesy photo
WASHINGTON, Nov. 11, 2011 – Two years ago, retired Marine Corps
Capt. Dan Moran stood before then-Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates
and hundreds of other well-wishers as he accepted the keys to a new
suburban Houston home presented by the a non-profit organization,
Helping a Hero.
Moran's dress uniform failed to conceal the
extent of his combat wounds during the Aug. 31, 2009, ceremony in
the living room of his new, 3,300-square-foot home.
that hit his platoon during his second deployment to Ramadi, Iraq,
left Moran with third-degree burns over 50 percent of his body, a
comprehension fracture in his T-8 vertebrae, herniated discs, a mild
traumatic injury and an inhalation injury. He endured 30 surgeries
and more than two-and-a-half years of treatment at Brooke Army
Medical Center in San Antonio.
Moran's house was built to
accommodate his needs with tinted windows, a high-efficiency air
conditioner and heating system, and other enhanced
temperature-control measures because he can no longer control his
body temperature. The lot was selected to allow the least amount of
direct sunlight into the house, which includes an extended covered
porch so he can spend time outside while avoiding direct sun
Despite all Moran had been through and continues to
live with, all that he thought about during the presentation
ceremony was the magnitude of the gift he was accepting and
questions about how he
could ever repay that generosity.
“What do I say to people who have given me so much?” he
asked attendees, then made them a pledge.
an investment in me and other wounded warriors, and I
promise you, you will get a return on your investment in
me,” he told them. “This is how I am going to pay you back:
by how I live my life and the impact I will have.”
Moran has wasted no time living up to that promise,
committing himself to helping wounded warriors and veterans
live meaningful, productive lives.
He launched his
own company, Moran Enterprises Inc., to help them find
rewarding career opportunities. He became a leader in many
of the organizations that helped him during his transition
back to civilian life. He's a board member for Hope for the
Warriors, a spokesman for Helping a Hero, and a member of
Marine 4 Life and the Marine Corps Association.
recently, Texas Gov. Rick Perry appointed Moran as one of
five state commissioners on the Texas Veterans Commission.
The commissioners provide the strategic vision and policy
for the body that informs veterans of their rights and helps
ensure they receive the benefits they have earned.
gladly accepted, and I see it as a great opportunity to be
able to continue serving veterans, to continue serving my
countrymen and serving my country,” Moran said.
said he takes pleasure giving back to military members and
veterans who have served and sacrificed around the world. “I
am just thankful that I am still alive and still breathing
and I have the opportunity to impact people the way that I
have had people impact my life,” he said.
that an enemy ambush took away from him on that fateful day
in Iraq, he said he takes consolation knowing that he is
“still in the fight” with his comrades in arms and other
“What I personally get out of it, at the
end of the day, is knowing that I am still serving a purpose
greater than myself,” Moran said. It's the same feeling he
said he felt every day when he wore the uniform, emphasizing
that “no rank, no medal, no amount of financial worth could
ever take the place of that feeling.”
thankful that I have the opportunity to do this,” he said.
“To be able to help do for someone else who truly deserves
it is what America is all about. I really, really believe
that, and I see it on a daily basis.”
By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service
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