Paralyzed Veterans of America to Honor Disabled Service Members on Veterans Day
11/9/2006 4:01:00 PM
To: National Desk
Contact: David J. Uchic of Paralyzed Veterans of America, 202-416-7667, or 202-368-7633
WASHINGTON, Nov. 9 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Two Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) servicemen who incurred disabling injuries including spinal cord damage will be in Washington, D.C. on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, as they join the national leadership of Paralyzed Veterans of America to honor present and past veterans. The former Marine, Carlos Leon, served with distinction and without injury in Iraq but became paralyzed later during a diving accident in Hawaii as he trained fellow Marines. Alan R. Babin, Jr. was a combat medic with the 82nd Airborne when he suffered a gunshot wound to his abdomen while rendering aid to a fellow paratrooper.
Leon, who just turned 22 this month, suffered a C-5 spinal cord injury on June 18, 2005. Leon was medically retired at the rank of sergeant. He resides in North Lauderdale, Fla. and is receiving treatment at the Miami VA Medical Center. His sister serves in the U.S. Air Force. He entered active duty military service on July 17, 2002. Leon earned several medals, including Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Iraqi Campaign Medal, National Defense Service Medal and Navy Unit Commendation. He is fluent in both English and Spanish.
Babin's injuries, which occurred on March 31, 2003, caused tetraplegia and complications such as a stroke. He is a veteran of the U.S. Army and retired at the rank of corporal (E4). For his valor in Iraq, Babin earned numerous commendations, including the Bronze Star with V for Valor, Purple Heart and the Combat Medical Badge. He competed in last summer's National Veterans Wheelchair Games in Alaska where he won a silver medal in quad rugby
In Washington, D.C. and across the country, Paralyzed Veterans and its 34 chapters will commemorate Veterans Day through participation in civic events honoring the service and sacrifice of our veterans. Events in Washington include:
Arlington National Cemetery Ceremony -- Nov. 11, 11 a.m.