Michael J. Kerrigan

Knights of Malta


Courage in America began as part of my service project as a member of The Knights of Malta, a Roman Catholic service organization. As part of my “work,” I visited wounded warriors at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington D.C. The results of those and subsequent visits to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda Maryland provided the opportunity for me to select wounded warriors who already have, or were in the process of successfully overcoming traumatic injuries. My mission was to understand the character traits that enable some of them to turn their adversities into successful recoveries, while others did not.  Courage was clearly present in the successes.

Marine Corporal Todd Nicely**, was the first of the seven warriors I was to profile. Todd challenged me to write his story. I replied to Todd that given your serious injuries the story could be depressing. Todd replied…… Continue reading

Courage in America: Warriors with Character grew out of my service project as a member of The Knights of Malta, a Roman Catholic service organization. I visited wounded warriors at military hospitals, where I spent my time with extraordinary young Americans who had volunteered for military service in response to the attack on America on September 11, 2001.

As a result of my visits to the wounded, I quickly realized that after traumatic injury, it often takes more courage to live than to die. It seemed that making a successful recovery from the traumatic war injuries borne by America’s young warriors was itself a measure of a man’s courage.

After meeting the wounded warriors, http://thecharacterbuildingproject.com/warriors/todd-nicely/todd-nicely-photos/
I wanted to know what gave these young heroes the courage to successfully rebuild their bodies, minds, souls, and lives? Could a warrior who displayed courage in battle, exhaust his courage and be defeated in… Continue reading

At the outset of writing Courage in America, I wish to credit the ten wounded warriors who shared with me their arduous journeys from their traumatic injuries to individual greatness. I also wish to acknowledge Dr. Paul Stoltz and Erik Weihenmayer, not only for having greatly influenced my thinking by there book, The Adversity Advantage but also for their ongoing support to the Character Building Project.

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Courage in America has been aurally transcribed for the visually impaired, thanks to Volunteers of Vacaville, California. Tel: 704.448.6841 ext 2044.