Staff Sergeant Andrew Bachelder enlisted in the Marine Corps in April 2002. He deployed to Kuwait in February 2003 with Bravo Company 1st CEB attached to 1/5 for the invasion of Iraq. He returned home in July 2003 and then re-deployed in February 2004 to Fallujah, Iraq, attached to 2/1 in support of the initial attack on Fallujah.
In 2009, SSGT Bachelder deployed to Iraq for 4 months and then transferred over to Afghanistan in the southern Helmand Province. On October 26, 2009 he was involved in a Mid-Air collision between the Huey that he was in with an AH-1W Cobra helicopter. He suffered a broken right tibia, fibula, open book pelvic fracture, and a broken acetabulum. SSGT Bachelder also sustained 5 rib fractures, a fractured scapula, concussion, TBI, and PTSD.
SSGT Bachelder was transferred to NMC Balboa in April 2010 after extensive treatments and surgeries where he would spend the rest of his enlistment until his retirement on November 30, 2011. His personal decorations include: Air Medal with strike flight numeral 2, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with 1 gold star, and the Combat Action Ribbon and Good Conduct Medal with 2 Bronze stars.
The challenges of SSGT Bachelder’s injuries were learning to walk again and daily living activities. He describes his wife, Debi as his rock, nursing him back to life and saving him from taking his own.
Like his wife, Team 43 plays a crucial role in his endeavors. Five months after his attempted suicide, his mother mentioned the Bush Center Warrior Open. He was accepted and it has all been uphill from there. SSGT Bachelder competed the last 3 years, won the low net in 2014 and won the overall in 2015. He played in the American Century Championship that July and represented President Bush, Team 43 and all veterans of this great nation.
SSGT is currently pursuing a professional golf career. His hope is to find sponsors to help fulfill the dream of playing on the PGA. SSGT Bachelder is married to his wife of 13 years, Deborah, of Dallas, TX. They have two children: Kaitlin and Jacob. They reside in Fort Worth, TX.