by Carrie Adams
LTJG Jason Redman knew he’d been hit, how many times he wasn’t sure, but two of his Teammates were also wounded. They were still engaging Al Quaeda fighters in an intense firefight outside Fallujah, Iraq taking heavy machine gun and small arms fire. The Mobility Force and Assault Force Commander Redman could think only of getting his team out alive. “I called out to God to give me strength.” Redman recalls. Responsible for over 40 Direct Action missions throughout western Iraq, he was not new to the dangers and as he continued to take rounds to his body armor, weapon, helmet and Night Vision Goggles, he still led his team to win the fight without losing a member of his team. That was September 13, 2007.
Redman joined the Navy in September of 1992 and had escalated up the ranks, starting as an Intelligence Specialist before graduating with BUD/S class 202 in December of 1995. He balanced his time with deployments to South America working in Counter Drug Missions and in 2000 became a SEAL instructor for Marksmanship, Reconnaissance and Surveillance operations for his SEAL Team’s Basic Land Warfare training block. He continued to excel in the Navy and was ultimately commissioned in May 2004 as a Navy SEAL officer.
All this led up to his assignment as an Assistant Platoon Commander and the deployment to Afghanistan in July of 2005. The Task Unit he was injured with was directly credited with capturing over 124 Al Qaeda and Anti-Coalition fighters and killing thirteen Al Qaeda fighters. Unfortunately for Redman, he was headed home to Bethesda due to the severity of his injuries he sustained during that September firefight . All told, he was shot twice in the arm, once in the face and would, “Spend four years getting myself put back together again.”
Tenacious throughout his recovery, he demanded no special attention or pity for his wounds, focusing on his love of the job and country that led to his injuries. In fact, he was fiercely proud of the scars and wounds he earned on the battlefield knowing the full risks and dangers are part of the job. Redman committed himself to an optimistic and full recovery and showed the staff, his family and friends that despite 34 surgeries and painful treatments, he was proud of what had brought him there. As he recovered, it was obvious he needed modifications to clothing and he realized that it was something he wanted to not only create but he wanted to promote awareness around the warriors themselves in the process. Encourage pride and motivate those who were injured and honor those were fallen. To that end, he began Wounded Wear three years ago, a Non-Profit organization whose mission is to raise the national awareness of the sacrifice of wounded warriors, their families, and the families of fallen service members.
According to their website, “In support of this mission Wounded Wear advocates on behalf anf facilitates opportunities for those who have sacrificed so much, as well as providing free fashionable clothing kits and modifications to wounded warriors that empower them to rediscover the hero within.”
Redman states, “I don’t know why I was spared and others didn’t. But it made me say I have to make the most of this.” Emboldened by his own survival and recovery and the growth of Wounded Wear, Redman took his mission a step further in the recent creation of Team Wounded Wear. Team Wounded Wear is comprised of physically fit, adventure racers. They are active and former military, wounded warriors, and patriots who are looking to endure some of the country’s most challenging adventure races, marathons, and Fitness challenges, and do all of it wearing full combat equipment while carrying a 185 pound downed man.
Led by James Ogden who ran Spartan’s Carolina’s Spartan Sprint earlier this year six times in support of Wounded Wear, you may remember his story told HERE, they are taking on the Carolina’s Spartan Beast for the first time, leaving the start line at 10:50 AM. Ogden has beena supporter of Wounded Wear and a fan of Jay’s since he met him in 2002 at Old Dominion University under the Navy ROTC program.
Says Ogden, “After the dust settled from the Carolina event, I wanted to do something bigger but I wanted to incorporate some of my closest veteran athletes. Originally, we were just going to do one event; this year’s Carolina Spartan Beast. But since it’s conception, it has grown into what will now be a formalized team that will be traveling all over the country, motivating and inspiring wounded warriors, the American’s they fought for and their communities, and ultimately ‘Helping Warriors rediscover the Hero within.”
We look forward to seeing them on race day! Learn more about Wounded Wear and their mission by watching this video HERE.
How can YOU support Wounded Wear?
Anyone can purchase Wounded Wear clothing – All proceeds from clothing sales go back to support their mission. Wounded Wear clothing is Clothing for Patriots. It symbolizes the Sacrifice that built this nation and the costs that our veterans have to endure, both physical and mental, once they come home. http://woundedwear.org/store. Additionally, Donations are always accepted. They can be made on Wounded Wear’s website. http://woundedwear.org/