U.S. Marine Staff Sgt. Liam Dwyer perfectly demonstrates the resilience and resolve of our wounded warriors.
After his tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, he was already a hero, but now he’s poised to be a champion.
In car racing.
With one leg missing.
As Boston.com reports, “Dwyer lost his left leg, and suffered injuries to his right leg, both arms, and his lower abdomen, on May 21, 2011 after he stepped on a IED in Afghanistan. The fateful blast occurred when he was searching a compound in Sangin district. Four other marines were injured.”
Dwyer was also injured during his 2007 tour of duty in Iraq, taking shrapnel to the body. After serving there, he left the military and took up car racing as a hobby, but returned in 2010 when he was asked to join a special team heading to Afghanistan.
He’ll be retiring from the Marines the end of May and now is free to pursue his dream career in racing.
However, the Marines were initially unsure about the wisdom of his career choice.
“They told me, ‘This is dangerous, you’re going to get hurt,’” Dwyer said. “And I was like, ‘You’re the ones who sent me to Afghanistan, a place where I got blown up, and you’re worried about me getting into a car accident? Let’s get real here. I’m 33 years old. I can make my own decisions. If I want to race cars, who are you to tell me ‘No’? Why can you restrict me from doing something I want to do, after everything I’ve been through?”
“On the track, Dwyer garnered national media attention from ESPN and Fox Sports when his team won the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge event at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut last Memorial Day Weekend.”
“That Dwyer can race — competitively — is a marvel of technology and spirit. He uses his left leg prosthetic to control the clutch. It has a base shaped like a foot attached with Velcro to the pedal. He also uses a hand control to pre-load his brakes when he’s approaching a turn. Where driver swaps once took nearly 45 seconds with Dwyer, his team now accomplished them in about 10 or 11 seconds, which is considered average.”
Dwyer’s teammate and co-driver Andrew Carbonell says of him, “It’s crazy. There’s no better example of never giving up.”
And there’s no better example of the indomitable American spirit. Go, Liam go!