United States Marines
In 2007, while on patrol in Fallujah, Iraq, Zach Briseno's convoy was hit by an IED. The explosive blew a hole in the floorboard beneath him, mangling his legs and right arm. Within two days, he went from Iraq to Germany to Maryland, left lying in a hospital bed with no legs to ponder his future. A fellow double amputee from Fort Worth, Texas, visited with Zach and completely changed his outlook. He also received a visit from President George W. Bush at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., after he was awarded a Purple Heart and citation. The president showed Zach heartfelt gratitude for his sacrifice to our country. Zach was also was nominated for the American Patriot Award by Operation Military Embrace president Jerry Reed.