Can you imagine being a medic in an active war zone? Would you have the courage to risk your own life to save another? This is the story of Anthony “Doc” Ameen.
In 2002, the Desert Vista High School grad joined the U.S. Navy as a hospital corpsman, or medic. It was his job to serve alongside a Marine Corps unit to care for injured soldiers.
In 2008, Ameen’s unit was deployed to Afghanistan to fight the Taliban. While setting up for an ambush, all hell broke loose and IEDs and mortars started going off. “Doc,” as his comrades called him, was called to help save a Marine’s life who had sat on an IED and wasn’t breathing.
Without thinking of the danger, Doc ran across a field and heard the loudest explosion he had ever heard. He landed on his back and, once the dust settled, saw his mangled foot and felt the pain.
Doc had stepped on an IED and now he was the one who needed saving. He lost the lower half of his left leg and needed reconstructive surgery to his left hand and fingers.
Countless operations were performed to save his right leg, along with mental and emotional suffering from post-traumatic stress.
“I was very fortunate to live,” reflected Doc. “I always knew it could be me but never thought it would be me. I was just doing my job.”
What came next was a daunting journey he did not expect.
Doc had to navigate the rough terrain of recovery all the while trying to secure the financial and medical benefits due to him through our government agencies. It was a road filled with a great deal of struggle.
Out of that experience came Wings for Warriors, an Ahwatukee based nonprofit that helps other combat wounded Iraq and Afghanistan veterans traverse the pathway of healing and transition home.
“I know that a person’s life is forever changed when they get hit. I know more men and women are going to fight and get hurt. When they come home, they are fighting a whole other fight. That’s the driving force behind why I do this,” Ameen said.
Wings for Warriors provides critical healthcare and financial benefits counseling for active duty and civilian military personnel. They also provide travel assistance to family members who want to be by their loved one’s side during the recovery process.
The nonprofit’s most recent endeavor is to provide a program whereby a military family can buy, sell or refinance their home and the realtor will pledge back a portion of their commission to the family.
Wings for Warriors has helped over 3,800 veterans through their core services.
Recently, Wings for Warriors received a significant donation.
The Ahwatukee members of 100+ Women Who Care Valley of the Sun selected Wings for Warriors as their Q2 charity.
Ahwatukee resident and Realtor Christie Ellis nominated them and was thrilled to earn the support of the group. In May, Christie delivered $11,200 to Wings for Warriors.
“We want the community to know they can rely on Wings for Warriors to walk veterans through the process of securing the benefits they deserve. It’s an honor to have the support of the local community,” stated Doc.
100+ Women Who Care We is an informal group of women who love to give. The Valley of the Sun chapter and its events are run by an executive committee of big-hearted volunteers along with the assistance of some very generous sponsors.
All of our members’ donations go directly to the local charities selected at our quarterly meetings. The goal of the group is to support the wonderful work that our local charities do in funds, exposure and awareness in a minimal amount of time.
100+ women x $100 = $10,000+ for a local charity in one hour four times per year. We currently have four groups meeting throughout the Phoenix metro area – Ahwatukee, Scottsdale, East Valley and West Valley.
Our members come from all over the Phoenix metro area to participate. Our goal as a chapter is to donate $500,000 in five years to local nonprofit organizations.
The Valley of the Sun Chapter’s next meeting is at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 21 at Foothills Golf Club, Ahwatukee. Guests are welcome.