Loving Veterans To Life

Leadership

Amanda Sullivan
Founder, Valiant Veterans

2009, at age 23, Amanda Sullivan started a program to appreciate deployed troops during the holiday season resulting in the launch of OCC (Operation Christmas Cards). Receiving support from every U. S. state and 20 foreign countries, to date, 1.5 million cards were delivered, with 400,000 delivered in 2013. Because of this effort, Amanda was awarded 2012 Patriots Difference Maker, by NFL’s New England Patriots.

In 2011, she marshaled an effort called, Flags for our Fallen. Its cause is to bring awareness for passed veterans on Memorial Day each near. Nearly 2000 flags displayed this year with other institutions and individuals joining this movement on their campuses and homes.

On Veterans Day, 2012, Valiant Veterans was birthed with the very first coining ceremony to honor our veterans, especially our Vietnam Veterans. Valiant Veterans has now become the all encompassing outreach that is home to numerous seasonal programs and efforts to support our veterans and military families.

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Deployment Homecoming

Sgt Juan Valdez & Christen McGrath
USMC Retired
26-Jan-04 to 30-Dec-13

Valiant Veterans, West Coast Directors

January, 2004 Juan Valdez a native of the Dominican Republic, raised in 
Roslindale, MA, enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. Now medically retired, December 2013, Sgt. Juan Valdez served honorably in the Global War on Terrorism. After four deployments to the Middle East, and involved in 200+ operations Sgt Valdez was wounded in action by a gunshot wound to the arm and chest. He is the recipient of the Purple Heart for being wounded in action during Operation Iraqi Freedom, a Navy and Marine Corps achievement medal, with “V” for valor, for actions during combat, as well as a combat action ribbon.

Today, Sgt Valdez suffers from PTS (Post Traumatic Stress) and Fibromyalgia and is now enrolled, in higher education, working towards a law degree to advocate for multifaceted issues facing our veterans. He is most noted when seen with his ‘life battle buddy’, Midas’. A rugged, but gentle boxer service dog, who is by Sgt Valdez’s side at all times. Though Midas was trained to sense all the emotional triggers of one traumatized and living with PTS, Sgt Valdez would call Midas his ‘life line’. Without Midas, he would not be able to attend school, be in crowds or even stand before assemblies. Together, Sgt Valdez, Midas and fiancé Christen McGrath is a formidable team advocating for combat veterans and their needs now and in the future. Creating the much needed awareness for Valiant Veterans and the LiveLife Center, on the U.S. west coast, between those in civilian life and military life, working to understand and appreciate life, happiness and freedom.