Senior Airman Brian Kolfage Jr. was awarded the 2014 George C. Lang Award for Courage, not only for his fearlessness, but his selflessness. On September 11, 2004, Brian was deployed to Balad, Iraq, where he was severely injured by a rocket-shell explosion. His fellow servicemen immediately came to his aid, ultimately saving his life. During his recovery, Brian wanted to ensure his battle buddies were acknowledged for their bravery and heroism. The United States Air Force recognized their efforts with the Bronze Star Medal with Valor.
Brian lost both of his legs and right arm during the explosion, but he was determined not to let his injuries define him. He credits a Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) ski event with helping him kick-start his rehabilitation and adjust to his new life.
Today, Brian is a graduate of the University of Arizona School of Architecture and is enjoying life as a new dad. Brian and his wife, Ashley, make time to visit wounded service members and their families at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, answering questions and offering new hope for the future. Much like George C. Lang himself, Brian is the perfect example of a warrior living the WWP logo. Brian has gone from the warrior being carried and receiving support to the warrior on the bottom, carrying other warriors forward on their journeys to recovery.
ABOUT THE AWARD
This award was founded in memory of George C. Lang, Congressional Medal of Honor recipient and friend of WWP. George passed away on March 16, 2005.
This award is bestowed upon an individual who best exemplifies the spirit and virtue of Mr. Lang, who was a humble, yet unyielding behind-the-scenes advocate for all veterans – especially those with disabilities. Although he shunned the spotlight, preferring to work on behalf of his fellow veterans in anonymity, George’s service both during and after the Vietnam War merited public acclaim and recognition. While he shied away from public attention, he never stopped supporting his brethren, his fellow veterans. George took time to visit wounded soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, hoping these young men and women would draw strength from his experiences in adjusting to and living with a combat-related disability. George C. Lang epitomized what it meant to be a wounded warrior, broken in body but not in spirit, soldiering on in support of his fellow service members.
Past recipients include Jeremy Feldbusch & Family, Heath Calhoun, Dan Nevins, John Fernandez, Eric Edmundson & Family, Justin Constantine, Ted and Sarah Wade, Danielle Green-Byrd.