Sergeant First Class Manuel A. Colón enlisted in the United States Army as a canon crew member in 1993 and was deployed to Afghanistan in 2004 with the 25th Infantry Division 3rd Battalion 7th Field Artillery. During his deployment, Sergeant First Class Colón’s platoon was selected to serve with the Special Forces group at Camp Tillman in Lwara, Afghanistan.Sergeant First Class Colón endured numerous attacks and suffered from head trauma. Upon his return home from deployment, he was diagnosed with a mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and stage IV follicular lymphoma. For his brave actions, Sergeant First Class Colón was awarded a Bronze Star Medal, a Meritorious Service Medal, six Army Commendation Medals, four Army Achievement Medals and six Good Conduct Medals. He is currently awaiting a Medical Evaluation Board review.
Sergeant First Class Colón, his wife and their two children live in Orlando, Florida, where he serves as an active duty member of the United States Army. He is involved with numerous organizations, including the Wounded Warrior Project, Operation Giveback and Fairways for Warriors. He also volunteers as a youth sports coach.