A courageous person is not the one born without fear. It is not the steel-eyed hero in the movie that saves the day or the one who never shows a bead of sweat on their brow. No, a courageous person is the one who is afraid, but realizes there is something worth competing for that is more important than the fear. The courageous person walks right into the face of danger and the unknown, afraid, but choosing to walk in regardless.
Such is the story of David Borden. In 2008, the United States Marine Corps captain and his platoon were attacked by a suicide bomber. One Marine was killed while David and two others were seriously injured. David was facing life or death on the operating table in Germany. He had a broken right arm, shattered left forearm, broken right femur, collapsed lung, and a ruptured bladder. To compound these injuries, David had lost his right foot in the blast and there was an estimated 150-200 ball bearings embedded in his body. It was a miracle David was even alive at that point.
But, David refused to let death take him just yet. A miraculous recovery led to more life-or-death situations in the ICU before, three weeks later, David woke up. The first words from his lips revolved around the fact that he loved the Marines and he was determined to go back.
Not woe is me.
But simply, I’m going back to fight. That there is something much larger than myself worth competing for and I’m not letting this setback stop me.
David went through 40 more surgeries and the loss of his entire right leg before starting rehab. Two years after the life-altering attack, David was cleared for service. Three years to the exact day of the attack on his platoon, David landed in Afghanistan, with his new prosthetic leg and unstoppable competitor’s spirit. That was January 2011.
Today David is awaiting his next deployment. In the interim the captain has “gone snow skiing, completed the Army Ten Miler, and climbed 15,000+ feet up Mount McKinley. Incredible. In January 2013, David will be honored by the NCAA Inspiration Award for his commitment to service and compete every day spirit.
To read more about David’s journey and the NCAA Award Celebration, you can read his story here.