Specialist Andrew Coughlan grew up in Ludington, Michigan and was motivated to join the army after his high school graduation by the tragic events of 9/11. Andrew deployed to Iraq in September of 2003 where he engaged with the enemy multiple times.
In 2004, Andrew’s base was attacked and set on fire. During the unfolding events, Andrew provided aid to his injured comrades and worked to secure the bodies of those who were killed in action from the burning debris. Roughly two years later, he was medically discharged from the army due to post-traumatic stress (PTS).
Upon returning home, Andrew’s post-traumatic stress served as a barrier to his reintegration. He states that “he took responsibility for his transition” and sought help at the VA hospital in Michigan. After overcoming his battle with PTS, Andrew built his career around helping other veterans as they transition back from their military service.
Committed to helping others beyond his military service, Andrew became a bone marrow donor to a teenager who was battling leukemia and also a stranger, in 2011. In 2016, he donated a kidney to a fellow veteran he served alongside in Iraq. Today, Andrew is happily married and enjoys life with his wife and two daughters as he works toward finishing his Bachelor’s degree.