Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Motor Mouth

Just as a little background...Dan stepped on an IED pressure plate while leading his platoon in operation in Afghanistan on September 8th. He received immediate care in theater and was flown to Germany, then to the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda on the 11th. His immediate family, as well as several close friends from his SEAL team were at the hospital upon his arrival. His condition was very critical at that time but he has knocked everybody's socks off since then with his progress.

Until today Dan has been ventilated as well as sedated, as he was unable to breathe on his own. He has undergone several surgeries, and will continue to have several more in the coming months. At this point, he has had both legs amputated at the knee. He may need to have these amputations revised later on in the week in order to better fit his prosthetics in the future. He has an open book pelvic fracture, as well as extensive deep tissue and internal wounds to the lower half of his body. From the waist up, everything else is great! No brain damage, no paralysis, no torso or facial injuries.

Today I received a text message from Dan's nurse first thing in the morning telling me to come right away. When I got to the hospital Dan was off the breathing tube, awake, alert, and talking!! He actually won't stop talking. He remembers everything in theater, including the blast injury and being carried to the helicopter. He is aware of the extent of his injuries and has a remarkable attitude. He is so positive and looking forward to the future. Dan is surrounded by friends and family and can't stop telling everyone how lucky he feels. He's especially excited to get his new bionic legs soon so he can run faster than anyone.

We love Dan so much, and are so proud of him. It's been a very emotional day for everyone - we really feel that everybody's prayers have made the difference here. Miracles are happening every day in this ICU and Dan so appreciates everyone's love and support. He is having another surgery tomorrow to wash out all his tissue wounds - there is a huge risk of infection with blast injuries like this, so everyone please keep the prayers coming.

Thank you all for your continued love and support.


  1. Alice, Leslie & Jeff: What wonderful news that Dan is off the ventilator! Paige has been keeping us up-to-date each time she talks to you but this was a great surprise. We do not know Dan but, after hearing about him for all these years, we are not surprised that he will turn this whole experience into something positive. We are here for you and willing to do anything that needs to be done - simply let us know. We continue to keep all of you in our prayers and are so happy that you have such amazing support in DC.


    Kathy & Mark

  2. Dan,

    I praise God for your life, and will continue to pray daily for a speedy recovery. We're all behind you. I'm in Dahlgren, VA right now for training and will try to make it by to visit before I leave. Keep it up, buddy!

    Dan Hancock

  3. Wow!!! This is wonderful news!!!! I have been thinking of you, Dan, and your family and checking for updates CONSTANTLY!!! I cannot wait to hear more about all the exciting progress that you make, and will never stop thinking and praying for all of you. You are truly such a special person, Dan! Good luck tomorrow with your surgery; I will be praying hard for all of you! Love, Kristen

  4. Dear Dan, We are delighted to hear you're awake and doing so well! Everyone here is pulling for you. You're in our thoughts and prayers every day.
    Love you lots!
    Linda and Kevin

  5. This is literally the best news I have heard in a really long time! I worked today in the NYU Medical ICU and I could not stop thinking about 'Leslie's brother', Dan. I hated to think of Dan not being able to breath on his own, and having a tube obstructing his beautiful face! If anyone is reading this and wondering who I am....I was Leslie's roommate last year in Kansas City and we had a picture of Dan hanging on our refrigerator all year, looking darn good in his white uniform! And I had the privilege of meeting Dan on the day of our graduation. Leslie and I moved to New York City together, and now I am thinking about her and her brother all the time. I am so relieved and proud to know that Dan is so incredibly strong and breathing on his own now. This is such a happy day! Dan and Leslie, I cant wait to come visit you guys soon!!! I cant say enough how happy this news makes me! I love you guys! And Les thanks for putting this website together....it is really great! Love tons!! PS. I have a whole team of people praying and we will keep it up! I know its helping and I know Dan is going to recover quickly. Dan you are a hero.

  6. Dan, I am SO happy to hear you are awake and alert. It's no surprise to me that you have such an incredible attitude, but I'm so glad to hear it nonetheless. -- I am so grateful that you are on the road to recovery. I have been thinking about you and praying for you nonstop since I heard about your injury, and I'll keep the good thoughts coming your way. It is such a relief to know you are doing better. Please know how many people are behind you 100%, all over the world!

    Lots of love to you and your family!

    Lauren Coia Friedman

  7. Dan, I met Lesile in New York working at NYU and am so happy to hear that you are doing better. I have been keeping you and your family in my prayers since I have heard and am so thankful that you are getting better. Thank you so much for everything you have done for our country we wouldn't be here if it wasn't for heroes like you!

  8. Hey Dan!

    As you know, lots of people are praying for you. My roommate is one of the chaplains at the Academy, and you've been added to many prayer lists...on top of more prayer lists from my family at their churches scattered across the U.S. We hope to stop by to visit you on Thursday. And, I've been keeping Alex up to date about how you are doing too. He finally got to where he needs to be in Iraq. I hope you're able to feel all of the warm and positive and uplifting thoughts being sent your way from us all. See you soon!

    --Lyndsay, Alex & Aidan

  9. Dan,
    I'm glad to hear you woke up. You no doubt have a long road ahead of you. If anyone is up to the challenge, I know you are. You have always been a guy I look up to. You remain in our prayers and I look forward to coming out to see you. Stay strong brother.
    -Mike A.

  10. Dan

    You don't know me, but John and Breanna Kingsbury are my in-laws. Breanna has disseminated your story to everyone she knows, and that has begotten many a prayer. My wife and I pray daily for your healing and speedy recovery. Additionally, we each extend our thanks to you for serving our Nation and sacrificing yourself for our freedom. You truly embody American spirit and virtue.

    Dustin Branham
    Huntersville, North Carolina

  11. Dan,
    I am unknown to you and your loved ones, but I felt the need to let you know how much of an inspiration you are to many. I am a former U.S. Army Sergeant, and must say that you make anyone who has served, proud to be a distant comrade.
    I wish you and your loved ones well, and know that you will continue to inspire as you have so courageously done thus far. Keep your head on straight and your "6" clear. You are a true American HERO, Sir!
    Sgt. Griffin
    Charleston, SC

  12. Dan
    i just want you to know i will be praying for you..
    my 2 brothers were in the ww2 and i lost an uncle in that war too!
    thank you protecting America and all our families ...God bless you and your family!
    joan rhinehart s.c.

  13. Dan,
    Glad to hear you're awake. You got the end of a shitty deal. Sorry bro. On the plus side you'll be hauling ass with your new legs I'm sure. My company trained at Coronado a few times, small craft stuff, beach broaching ect. We ran the "O" course a few times and my XO fell off the wall. Funny stuff, he broke a few bones and let out a girlie sound that we never let him forget. I wish you the best of luck and if you're ever in Los Angeles I'll buy you a beer. Hell...a whole bunch of 'em.

    Semper Fi
    Your brother in arms,

  14. We don't know you personally Lt. Dan, but as an American we honor your sacrifice and your heroic efforts on others behalf. We wish you all the best as you work towards a complete recovery. Our hearts go out to you, your family and friends in this uncertain time. Thank you, from the bottoms of our hearts for all you have done.

    Martha and David Ray
    Linn, MO

  15. Dan,

    We will never forget the sacrifice that you made. I was with the ODA when we heard one of the Seals hit an IED. Our heart sank. We have done two missions since and the relationship between the DEA and NSW is fantastic. Not a day goes by where we are at TU-Trident and your name does not comes up. Everyone here carries on in honor of you. As well as the US Navy, the DEA recognizes what a talented person you are and how our country is a better place because of your service. The other FAST Teams at Quantico have all inquired with me about their ability to come visit you. Please have someone let me know at carsonulrich@gmail.com if/when you are up to visitors who you do not know...but all who know who you are.

    I will tell you this. When we met up with trident at the objective, it had been hours since we heard a SEAL was injured, but were not able to find out who it was. We eventually saw Ish and Jason (the two SCs), who told me it was you. They were devastated and the look in their eyes will never leave me.

    Carson Ulrich

  16. Dan,

    It's been a long time. We flew together in a P-3 in 2003 and we were in Zamboanga together in 2006. Incidentally, I heard about your injury from Kurt Muhler. I remember what an exceptionally optimistic attitude you possessed, and it sounds like you still do. You're amazing. I look forward to hearing about your progress and recovery. In the mean time, you remain in my prayers. I know that you have a strong support network, but if I can be of any assistance, do not hesitate to contact me.

    Chad Coursey
    USNA 2000