Daniel Rodriguez is currently a Wide Receiver for the St. Louis Rams, but if you think his story is one of purely football glory, you’d be very, very wrong.
Daniel served in the U.S. Army and did to tours of duty: a 15-month deployment in Iraq, and a 12-month tour in Afghanistan.
In that second tour is when his life changed forever. Daniel was one of the 60 or so Americans to fight in the Battle of Kamdesh on Oct. 3, 2009 and was one of the 22 soldiers wounded in the fight.
He had fragments lodged in his shoulder and shrapnel in his neck and legs, but continued fighting for another 12 hours! When he returned home he was awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star Medal with Valor Device for his heroic actions.
But to overcome the struggles with a return to civilian life, he turned to another goal: Playing football.
He trained relentlessly, helping him to overcome substance to personal relationship issues. He then spent much of his savings on a recruitment video which you can see here:
Thanks to that video, Daniel went on to play a Clemson, a school he previously had never even heard about!
He became an inspiration and made a major mark on the university and on college football. So much so that he got a book deal….and a chance in the NFL.
While Daniel’s future in the NFL is still a bit unclear, make sure to follow him this season!
Here’s a great ESPN feature:
Will Daniel’s story help more vets push through in civilian life? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!