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Meet the Warriors

September 9, 2013 5 minute Read by Hannah Abney

From September 26-28th, 24 Warriors wounded in Iraq or Afghanistan will compete in the Warrior Open. Over the next few weeks, we'll introduce you to all of them. For more information on the Warrior Open, visit http://www.bushcenter.org/military-service-initiative/warrior-open.


Nicholas Bradley
Staff Sergeant
United States Air Force (Retired)

Staff Sergeant Nick Bradley deployed to Balad AB, Iraq, where he served with the 332nd Expeditionary Security Forces and flew more than 200 Surveillance Missions for troops outside the wire. He returned to the U.S. and completed several training courses over the next few years.

In April 2008, he deployed to Camp Eggers, Kabul, Afghanistan, where he served on a Personal Security Detail for five General Officers. Staff Sergeant Bradley conducted numerous Protective Missions outside the wire, including Motorcade Operations, Fly Away Missions and Advance Team Missions. On August 3, 2008, while on a Protective Services Mission, his vehicle was struck by 20 pounds of anti-tank mine IED.

Staff Sergeant Bradley has had 16 surgeries and continues to attend occupational and physical therapy. He was medically retired from active duty on May 29, 2009. Staff Sergeant Bradley has been awarded numerous honors, including Airman of the Year and the Purple Heart. He currently attends the University of North Texas and is pursuing a degree in political science.

Justin Constantine
Lieutenant Colonel
United States Marine Corps

Lieutenant Colonel Justin Constantine joined the United States Marine Corps after completing his second year of law school. While on active duty, he served as a Judge Advocate specializing in criminal law and worked as a defense counsel and criminal prosecutor. After recovering from his injuries in 2007, Lieutenant Colonel Constantine worked with the U.S. Department of Justice, the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee and the FBI. Not long ago, he began his own business as an inspirational speaker.

He was recently promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in the Marine Corps Reserve and will be medically retired later this year. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Wounded Warrior Project, Give An Hour and SemperMax, and is involved with a number of other wounded warrior organizations.

Golf has been a significant part of Lieutenant Colonel Constantine’s recovery process, and he is active in Salute Military Golf Association clinics. He is a graduate of James Madison University and the University of Denver School of Law, and he is currently participating in the master of laws program at Georgetown University. 

Benjamin Dellinger
Staff Sergeant
United States Army (Retired)

Staff Sergeant Benjamin Dellinger entered the United States Army in 2003 with the 1-504 PIR, 82nd Airborne. He deployed three times to Iraq and again in 2006 to Baghdad for the “Surge.” In 2007, he was injured by an IED. Staff Sergeant Dellinger spent time at Walter Reed Army Medical Center for rehabilitation and retired in 2009.
Golf became part of Staff Sergeant Dellinger’s life at a young age, and he played competitively in high school. He is involved with the Salute Military Golf Association. Married with two sons, Staff Sergeant Dellinger resides in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Brian Donarski
First Lieutenant
United States Army (Retired)

First Lieutenant “Ski” Donarski served 10-and-a-half years in the United States Marine Corps and was honorably discharged in 1998. On September 11, 2001, he waived his VA benefits, and in 2004, he re-enlisted in the United States Army.

In 2005, First Lieutenant Donarski was seriously wounded during combat in Anbar Province, Iraq. He suffered from a traumatic brain injury, PTSD and a stable burst fracture in his neck and back. He lost vision in his right eye, which requires the use a prosthetic soft lens, and has had surgeries on both shoulders.

After 13 months of rehabilitation at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, he was reassigned to 2nd Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne). He deployed to Afghanistan again in 2009 and successfully completed his tour. First Lieutenant Donarski was accepted into the U.S. Army Officer Candidate School and commissioned as a Lieutenant in the Military Intelligence Branch as an All-Source Intelligence Officer.

While attending Military Intelligence School, he was struck by a pick-up truck, which triggered his traumatic brain injury and PTSD and resulted in additional injuries. After several years in various medical facilities, he was unable to return to combat and was medically discharged in August 2012.

He is the recipient of many awards and decorations for his service, including the Purple Heart. He has two wonderful daughters, McKenzi and Maya.

 


Author

Hannah Abney
Hannah Abney

Hannah Abney directs strategic communications and messaging for the George W. Bush Presidential Center, leading a team responsible for developing and implementing communication strategies that help advance the Bush Center’s work in developing leaders, fostering policy, and taking action to save and change lives.

Prior to joining the Bush Center, she led public relations activities for consumer and non-profit brands at The Richards Group.  Abney also led communications efforts  at a national retail trade association in Washington, DC, and served in the George W. Bush Administration in the Vice President’s Office.

A native of Milwaukee, WI, she is a graduate of the Southern Methodist University (B.A., Music) and lives in Dallas with her husband and young sons. 

Full Bio