United States Army
On July 7, 2005, Jeff Mittman of New Palestine, Ind., was serving as an advisor to the Iraqi Ministry of the Interior when a roadside bomb explosion left Jeff blind, without a nose, lips or teeth, and severely damaged his right arm. Jeff has endured dozens of surgeries to reconstruct his facial features and repair his injuries. He was awarded three Bronze Star Medals, the Purple Heart and the Combat Infantryman's Badge (second award), among others. Jeff is a requested speaker nationwide, sharing lessons he has learned from his experiences. He demonstrates that traumatic events may shape but don't have to determine a life's course. He inspires people to provide support for disabled veterans through volunteer, business and employment opportunities. Jeff has received awards from the American Foundation for the Blind and Lighthouse International and serves on the board of two separate nonprofits.