Now, I'm proud enough that we had a DOT ambassador in the First Lady's group, and even prouder that it was Scott. But, most of all, I'm just happy for Scott and his wife Jarah, to have received the honor.
Because those two have been through a lot together. And--with some help from others--they have come through it all to a new future.
But--and this is what I love about meeting Scott yesterday--when he tells the story, the conclusion he draws is:
"The amazing thing about our Army is that I was on a Medevac flight within 10 minutes. That's how good we are."
He could remark about the pain, about the deafness and facial paralysis, but he chooses not to. Instead he talks about the heroic support fire from his Sergeant , who had also been injured, and about Army preparedness!
And instead of talking about his lengthy recovery, Scott chooses to talk about all of the support he received along the way. "I've had nothing but phenomenal care," he says.
Scott credits support resources from the Army to the Veterans Administration to family and friends.
Through the Army Wounded Warrior Program, Vycital met Rick Suarez, a supervisor with the Federal Highway Administration who was interested in hiring someone from the program, a pilot project of the National Organization on Disability. And Scott joined the Central Federal Lands Highway Division of FHWA.
The rest is not, as they say, "history," but future. A new degree. A new home. A new career.
Now, having met Scott and Jarah, and Rick Stark from the National Organization on Disability, and having heard about the program, which has worked intimately with over 200 veterans in three locations, I want to make sure DOT continues to lead on the hiring of wounded warriors.
And I urge everyone to contact the National Organization on Disability to see what you can do to help this program expand to meet the needs of the Army's 6,000+ wounded warriors. These men and women have paid quite a price for their service to our nation; let's help give something back to them.
"It's an unbelievable story. It's fantastic."