Saturday, July 31, 2010

Dawn Halfaker: An example of grace, courage, humility and honor for our time

I was inspired by her story six years ago when I first heard about her. I was on the Secretary of Defense's Staff looking into the abuses at Abu Ghraib Prison in June of 2004. Dawn Halfaker was an Army 1st Lieutenant Military Police Officer in Iraq on patrol in her vehicle when an RPG (Rocket Propelled Grenade) took off her right arm. Three years earlier, she had been a star guard on the basketball team at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. I found it amazing that she had such a positive attitude having just lost her arm in combat in Iraq. I thought about how much she had much she had given up - for us.

She didn't give much thought to what she had lost. She became a different person in the process. Fast forward six years later and she is a retired Army Captain and is CEO of her own well-respected and fast growing firm - Halfaker Associates LLC. And, first among her advisors is Les Brownlee (former Acting Secretary of the Army during my days as Staff Director of the Detainee Task Force). This is one remarkable officer, Soldier, person, warrior, patriot, basketball player, CEO, example, and woman. The most remarkable quote from her was that she was not going to be weighed down by the burden of the hypocrisy of self pity when so many of her fellow "comrades in arms" were worse off than she was.

Google Dawn Halfaker and find inspiration.
Google Dawn Halfaker and find motivation.
Google Dawn Halfaker and find an American Hero.

You can find her busy at work here


DD877 said...

This BMC Retired Thought that RPG Stood for Rocket Propelled Grenade. As in the RPG Two and The RPG 7

Captain - Special Duty Cryptology said...

Apologies to all on the RPG thing. Rocket Propelled Grenade. I have been doing too much "REMOTELY".

Anonymous said...

Captain Lambert,

As persuasive as you are, according to some of the respondents of this blog, you should attempt to persuade some of the MSM to make room in their journals to present the stories of such heroes as Captain Dawn Halfaker, she is a magnificent example of what our military is all about, and also what perseverance and true American spirit really means. I never see stories in the newspapers about heroic individuals such as Captain Dawn Halfaker and military individuals that have aspired to overcome the grievous wounds such as she has, and then to forge ahead and make the best of their lives. Her’s is a truly inspiring story but I certainly never heard of Captain Dawn Halfaker before your post concerning her and her ordeal.

Where has our country strayed to ignore the heroes that have given life and limb to her protection and then never acknowledge their sacrifice?

Very Respectfully,