Justin volunteered for his deployment to Iraq in 2006, excited to lead other Marines and help rebuild that war-torn part of the world. Little did he know that he would come inches from losing his life. While on a routine combat patrol, an enemy sniper shot Justin in the head, causing catastrophic damage along the way and destroying his jaws and much of his face. Thanks to the heroic efforts of a young Navy Corpsman, as well as his own warrior spirit, Justin is still alive today. Justin’s personal awards from his time in Iraq include the Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, and Navy-Marine Corps Commendation Medal.
"He was the type of speaker that had everyone in the room welled up with tears at the courage of both him and the Marines with whom he serves, only to make us laugh five minutes later to break the ice."
-Mitch Eliason, Class President of USUHS School of Medicine
Justin is an entrepreneur, published author and professional member of the National Speaker’s Association. In 2011, the Wounded Warrior Project presented Justin with their annual George C. Lang Courage Award, and he now sits on their Board of Directors. In 2012, Justin received an award from the Commonwealth of Virginia documenting his commitment to Wounded Warriors, as well as the Commitment to Service Award from the Give An Hour Foundation. He is also a member of the Congressionally-mandated Department of Defense Recovering Warrior Task Force, and has been invited to the White House on several occasions.
Through his inner resilience, teamwork and a positive mental attitude, Justin has had quite a successful recovery. Over the last several years he has shared his motivating lessons of recovery with a wide variety of audiences. Justin has spoken in front of a number of schools about the value of a positive attitude, teamwork and community values in overcoming adversity, and he now serves as a mentor to young students in his local community. He has also been the guest speaker at numerous corporate events, military celebrations, and government conferences, and featured in an inspirational documentary about the extraordinary sacrifices of our men and women in uniform who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan since 9/11. He is now ready to share his powerful message of overcoming adversity in everyday life with you!