On December 16, 2010, Cpl. Daniel Riley (Ret.) was nearing the end of his deployment to the volatile Marjah Valley in Afghanistan. While clearing a compound with Weapons Company, 2/6 Marines, he felt the ground give way beneath his left foot as he triggered an Improvised explosive device (IED). The blast threw in him air and he landed on what he thought were his legs. It was then he felt indescribable pain and realized that something was dramatically wrong. His company broke protocol and risked their own lives to save his, rushing him across an un-cleared field to the medevac helicopter. He remained conscious throughout the ordeal until he finally passed out due to massive blood loss.
All told, Dan would endure 25 surgeries to his legs, arm, lung, and abdomen, resulting in above-knee amputations to both legs and the loss of three fingers on his left hand. While rehabbing at Naval Medical Center San Diego, Daniel was introduced to CAF’s Operation Rebound program.
Dan began surfing and soon found the natural rush of being in the water enabled him to reduce his regiment of pain medications. Accustomed to the adrenaline of the battlefield, Daniel told CAF Operation Rebound he wanted to take on the toughest challenges in the sports world. Dan is now surfing, monoskiing, competing in triathlons and more, all while serving as a role model and mentor for other injured troops.
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