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Paying it forward: Warrior Open alum Dale Beatty

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Learn more about Hannah Abney.
Hannah Abney
Chief Communications Counselor
George W. Bush Presidential Center

In 2011, the Bush Center hosted the very first Warrior Open. That year, one of the players was Staff Sergeant Dale Beatty, North Carolina National...

In 2011, the Bush Center hosted the very first Warrior Open. That year, one of the players was Staff Sergeant Dale Beatty, North Carolina National Guard (Retired).

Dale is a true American hero. He served in all positions of his Field Artillery Unit until 2003 when he was selected to become the full time National Guard Readiness Non-commissioned officer (NCO) for the Statesville Unit.

Dale was deployed to Iraq in 2004 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.  There, his unit was attached directly to the 1st Infantry Division near Bayji, Iraq. On November 15, 2004, while on a patrol route that was littered with highly active insurgent operations, the vehicle Dale was riding in was ripped apart by anti-tank mines.

The explosion was so severe that it left him a double amputee below the knees.  Thanks to support from the Iredell Homes Builders Association and many members from the Statesville, N.C. community and surrounding areas, a specially adapted barrier-free home was built for Dale and his family. He served as the general contractor as the home was being constructed.

And now, he’s paying that support forward. In 2008, Dale pooled his military disability payments with his friend John Gallina, who he served with in the National Guard and who was also injured in combat. Together, they started Purple Heart Homes, a nonprofit that so far has modified or helped provide homes for 30 disabled veterans in several East Coast states.

Dale has been nominated as a 2013CNN Hero of the Year. We hope you’ll join us in congratulating him for his incredible accomplishments and thanking him for his service to a grateful nation. You can vote for Dale here: http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/cnn.heroes/2013.heroes/dale.beatty.html.