SPRINGFIELD, Va. (Nov. 16, 2016) – Thanks to the national nonprofit Hope For The Warriors®. Texas-based retired Army Staff Sergeant Philip Saladin recently received A Warrior’s Wish®, of a one-of-a-kind marksmanship trip.
Hope For The Warriors is a national nonprofit dedicated to restoring a sense of self, family and hope to service members, their families and families of the fallen. Its first established program, A Warrior’s Wish, honors the goals and desires of severely wounded service members, veterans and their families.
Staff Sgt. Saladin’s granted wish consisted of a behind the scenes tour of PROOF Research, a Montana-based company committed to redefining the firearms industry by creating innovative, next-generation products. Saladin was able to see every stage of the barrel and rifle making process, from rifling and carbon wrapping, to the mating of actions, to custom carbon fiber stocks.
In addition, he participated in a private, four-hour precision shooting class taught by two Hope For The Warrior staff members who are former military sniper instructors at PROOF Research’s private range. After touring the facility and trying out PROOF’s extensive rifle line, Saladin designed his very own custom PROOF rifle that he will receive in a few months after completion.
Saladin joined the Army at 24 after attending Western Connecticut State University. In 2008, he deployed to Iraq for 13 months and again in 2010 for nine months. As a Squad Leader, he had 10 soldiers under his command and was responsible for security patrols and advising and assisting the Iraqi Army.
In December 2010, he was on a security patrol when his vehicle was hit by an improvised explosive device (IED) resulting in injuries.
Saladin medically retired from the Army in 2014 after seven years of service.
“I’m incredibly grateful to Hope For The Warriors and its A Warrior’s Wish program for granting my wish and providing me with a trip and experience of a lifetime,” said retired Army Staff Sergeant Philip Saladin. “In addition to the PROOF facility tour and shooting class, I gained two lifelong friends in fellow veterans Ken Sutherby and David Williams, who are both Hope For The Warriors’ staff members and shooting instructors. Not only did they teach an amazing class but they provided me with knowledge that will last a lifetime. Connecting with other veterans really made me feel at ease. This trip meant the world to me.”
In 2016, nine A Warrior’s Wishes will be granted. The Wishes fulfill a desire for a better quality of life or support a quest for gratifying endeavors for those who have sustained severe physical and psychological wounds in the line of duty.
“We’re excited to provide this trip and one-of-a-kind experience for Staff Sgt. Saladin,” said Robin Kelleher, president and CEO of Hope For The Warriors. “Transitioning out of the military can be difficult and life altering so we are honored to fulfill the dreams and wishes of those who have proudly served.”
Since the program’s inception, A Warrior’s Wish has granted 157 wishes. To apply for a wish, visit https://www.hopeforthewarriors.org/story/19331538/a-warriors-wish and register online.
Photo: Retired Army Staff Sergeant Philip Saladin takes aim while Hope For The Warriors’ staff member Dave Williams guides him during a four-hour precision shooting class.
For additional photos visit https://www.dropbox.com/sh/tdcg1cjqh6avuxc/AAArmuf9bO8m72ooQ47UDgsma?dl=0