Since 2004, retired Staff Sgt. Dan Nevins has been involved with the Wounded Warriors Project, a not-for-profit, Florida-based organization that raises funds and awareness for severely injured service men and women, and helps them to recover and readjust to post-combat life. This Monday, Nevins will take to the stage as part of the world’s largest Celtic fashion show, From Scotland With Love. Recently Celtic Life International spoke with him about his involvement with both the organization and the event.
What is your own background?
Heritage is Scottish, Irish and German. Born and Raised in Baltimore, MD, Both Parents are Alive, Dad’s side is Scottish and Irish, Mom’s side is German. I have one older brother. Graduated from Sonoma State University in California, Studied Business.
When and why did you get involved with military service?
I enlisted during my senior year of high school to fight in the first Gulf War… 1991. It was over before I left for training, but I enjoyed it and became a man while serving. 8 years active duty and the balance of my 15 years in the National Guard. Of my 7 years in the National Guard, 4 years were active duty.
When and where have you served?
Basic Training and Advanced Training in Fort Leonard Wood Missouri 1991. Airborne School in Fort Benning Georgia 1991. First Duty Station in Germany at 22nd Signal Brigade 1992-1995. Fort Bragg North Carolina at HHC XVIII Airborne Corps 1995 – 1999. I left Active Duty in 1999 and went into the National Guard. HHD 20th Special Forces Group in Glen Arm MD 1999-2000. HHC 579 Engineer Battalion in Santa Rosa California from 2000 – 2004 (Deployed for Operation Noble Eagle in 2002). A Co, 579th Engineer Battalion in 2004 ( Deployed to Iraq ). Task Force Tacoma in Balad Iraq from March 2004 – November 10th, 2004 when I was wounded. Was at Walter Reed Army Medical Center from November 2004 until I retired in 2006.
When and where were you wounded?
November 10th 2004 in Balad Iraq
How did you get involved with The Wounded Warrior Project?
One of the founders of WWP brought me a backpack full of comfort items on my first day at Walter Reed, and made me a promise that whatever I needed, that they’d be there for me and my family. It’s a promise they’ve fulfilled several times over… After I retired, I went back to selling pharmaceuticals, but it lost its flavor… I sought out working for WWP, and now I have the blessing of doing exactly that.
What are your roles and responsibilities with the organization?
I am the Director of Warriors Speak. I work with wounded warriors and caregivers of severely wounded warriors to help them heal and share their stories publicly. It’s a speakers bureau of sorts. I get to identify, recruit and train our organizations spokespeople
What are the challenges of your involvement?
The challenge is that I have to see families and warriors in the worst moments…
The rewards are seeing them find their smiles again, and making the journey to their “new normal”.
How did you, and the organization, get involved with From Scotland With Love?
The request came in from our events department almost 4 years ago. It turns out that Sir Sean Connery wanted to have Wounded Warrior Project involved and have some American and Scottish wounded warriors participate. I was asked to participate and I jumped at the opportunity, given my heritage.
Where do the funds go?
The funds go to fuel the 18 different programs and services the Wounded Warrior Project provides to our warriors and families. Our programs fall under 4 pillars of Mind, Body, Economic Empowerment and Engagement. These programs change and save lives everyday.
Will you continue to be involved with the event?
I will personally be involved in this event as long as they’ll have me. For me it is a time to celebrate my heritage, meet amazing people, and spread some good. This is an event I look forward to all year long!
How does it feel to be a Supermodel?
HA! I wouldn’t know… It is a thrill to be treated like one though. Next year, perhaps I’ll hit the gym a bit harder and play the part a bit better. As for now, its an honor to wear these amazing designers fashions and hopefully do them justice. I’m excited to see what I’ll get to model this year!