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Football player, Army veteran and professional speaker, Daniel Rodriguez has not let any obstacles stop him from accomplishing his goals. Today, he travels around the nation and shares his story. Rodriguez will be speaking at Central Washington University on May 10 at 7 p.m. at the Student Union and Recreation Center Theatre. It is free and open to the public.
After enlisting in the Army, Rodriguez spent time in Iraq and Afghanistan where his best friend was killed in the Battle of Kamdesh. Upon returning home, Rodriguez was awarded a Purple Heart and Bronze Star Medal but he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and suicidal thoughts which took a serious toll on his life.
Reminded of a promise made to his friend that he would keep after his dream, Rodriguez decided to turn his life around. He improved his grades, trained rigorously and made a recruitment video that got thousands of views on YouTube. Eventually, he was offered a spot at Clemson University and just last year was signed as an undrafted free agent with the St. Louis Rams.
Rodriguez tells his motivational story in his autobiography, “Rise: A Soldier, a Dream, and a Promise Kept.” Among his awards include: Discover Orange Bowl Courage Award 2012, American Hero Award and Armed Forces Merit Award.
At only 28 years old, Rodriguez will offer genuine insight into the value of determination and being true to oneself.