Daniel Rodriguez promised his friend, PFC Kevin Thompson that someday he was going to play college football. A few days later, Thompson was killed in a battle at Kamdesh, Afghanistan when 400 Taliban swarmed over the 40 defenders in October 2009. Rodriguez left Kamdesh with shrapnel in his leg and neck and a bullet in his leg, and with a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart, but he never forgot his promise to his fallen comrade. Fox News reports;
Rodriguez’s home state schools of Virginia and Virginia Tech contacted him, too. Virginia said his grades were not good enough to enroll while Rodriguez said Virginia Tech wasn’t eager to move forward with getting waivers from the NCAA and ACC for him to play. Swinney said the Tigers would give it a try.
“There was a lot of paperwork and Clemson was willing to do that,” Rodriguez said. “I’m grateful to them.”
[Clemson football coach Dabo] Swinney is happy to have Rodriguez on his sideline. “He is getting the opportunity to follow his dream,” the coach said. “We are excited to have him join our program. I have no doubt that he will become a great leader for us.”
Rodriguez repeats what millions of veterans have told themselves for generations after war;
“I’m using the hardships, the horrors, the killing, the friends that I’ve lost as my fuel to (get) where I want to be,” he said. “So I think if you can turn and manipulate anything negative in your life and use it as something good, that’s what I’ve taken into my life.”
Thanks to SGT K for the link.
ADDED: Read more at our buddy, Parachute Cutie‘s house.