Sgt. Damon John Crutcher is an amazing man. As a kid he was more comfortable in cowboy boots than sneakers; now he wears combat boots to work and cowboy boots to play. He joined the Army at 17. He always knew the Army was where he belonged. He loved Airborne training, and was assigned to the 4th Infantry Infantry Division, Fort Hood, Texas. He worked hard, and promotions came quickly. Damon deployed for 15 months to Baghdad, Iraq as a machine gunner and team leader. He tells his favorite memory of Iraq was when he and his men spent 5 evenings clearing razor wire, shrapnel and debris from a courtyard, so the kids there could play outside. Those kids had not been able to play outside in the square for 10 years. His unit was responsible for capture of over 300 high value targets, and received commendations for meritorious service in Iraq. Damon was caught in an IED explosion which injured his wrist, but he ‘soldiered on’, and finished his tour. After he returned to the US, he competed in a post-combative combat tournament, and won, but re-fractured his wrist requiring another surgery. Two weeks after his cast was removed, he deployed to Afghanistan for a 12 month tour. His wrist never completely healed, but he would not leave his men. Damon doesn’t talk much about Afghanistan, but I’ve seen the pictures taken by a photographer who was briefly with his unit. The photographer happened to perfectly catch Damon’s “mischief managed” smile, some great photos of his unit, and – oh, yeah – yet another IED explosion. Damon was sent to Germany, and eventually back to the US for another surgery on his wrist and treatment for Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). He’s doing better, but he will likely be medically retired at the age of 24 (he can’t redeploy into a combat zone due to the concussive injuries). Through it all he's kept his great sense of humor, his love for the our Country, and is a true American Patriot.