An Ahwatukee veteran who founded an organization that helped thousands of U.S. soldiers wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan has resigned from the group.
Anthony “Doc” Ameen told supporters he was leaving Wings for Warriors “to pursue an enticing educational opportunity” and spend more time with his wife and their four children.
A member of the Desert Vista High School Class of 2000, Ameen was only four months into his Afghanistan deployment as a U.S. Navy Hospital corpsman in 2008 when he stepped on an explosive device.
The explosion left him with two shattered legs and a crushed left wrist with two dangling fingers.
During his ensuing 32 surgeries, the lower half of his left leg was amputated. Reconstructive surgeries were required for his left hand and fingers. His “noodle” of a right leg was eventually reconstructed, but for some time, its fate was borderline.
Though honored with numerous service medals, including the Navy-Marine Corps Achievement Medal with Combat Valor Distinction and a Purple Heart, Ameen was without Social Security benefits for nearly two years and his fight through government bureaucracy only exacerbated his combat-related post-traumatic stress disorder.
Finally, through tenacity of spirit and congressional assistance, he obtained his back benefits and used that money to establish Wings for Warriors – which he said “strives to provide the public with a raw look into the daily obstacles that wounded warriors face” re-entering civilian life.
His work has helped over 5,000 wounded warriors and their families and caregivers with healthcare, financial benefits and counseling. Over 300 military families have received travel assistance.
“There are over 56,000-plus combat wounded veterans that have returned home from Iraq and Afghanistan,” he said at one time. “I understand and know firsthand what these wounded warriors are facing on a daily basis with regard to their recovery process.”
In recent years, Ameen also crafted relationships with HomeBridge Financial Services and OdySea Aquarium to expand his work.
“As the founder, I’ve had immense pride in what the board has been able to accomplish with my executive leadership,” he told supporters. “Our experienced board leadership will continue the fantastic work that Wings for Warriors has accomplished these past eight years.”
“This is a very exciting time for myself, as well as the organization to grow, and it will be fulfilling to watch it succeed from the sidelines,” he added.
Ameen, who also is a business consultant, did not say in his announcement what the educational opportunity is and he did not respond to an email request for comment.
Information on the group: wingsforwarriors.org