Colorado Army veteran wounded in Desert Storm helps other ex-service members across Colorado | VailDaily.com

Colorado Army veteran wounded in Desert Storm helps other ex-service members across Colorado

John Aguilar
The Denver Post
photo - wounded veteran with dog

Desert Storm veteran Tony Drees and his service dog Diva, a two year old Italian mastiff, have a small talk on the16th St Mall during their walk. Drees has undergone 74 surgeries since being wounded in Saudi Arabia, 1991 and had his leg amputated earlier this year. He is the Executive Director of Veterans Passport To Hope, a non-profit that raises money for various vet organizations in Colorado July 2, 2018 Denver, Colorado.

Anthony Drees vividly recalls the 1991 Iraqi missile attack on U.S. military barracks in Saudi Arabia that claimed the lives of more than two dozen fellow service members — an event that would also put his on a new course.

"I hear it more than I feel it — suddenly I'm looking up and I can see the sky," said Drees, a U.S. Army veteran who moved to Colorado in 1993 after serving in Operation Desert Storm. "The walls I was next to are gone, the roof is gone. There are sounds of people screaming, the smell of people burning. I tried to move my leg and tried to put my shoe on, and it flopped in a direction it doesn't usually go."

The former soldier would undergo 74 surgeries in the next 27 years, most of them attempts to save his shattered right leg. Along the way, Drees also made room to focus on the needs of other veterans and eventually took the reins of a nonprofit that helps other groups provide things like service dog training, support for the children of fallen service members and assistance for veterans trying to re-enter civilian life.

Read the full story at http://www.denverpost.com.