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A story for every step

Joseph Malcom and DAV Past National Commander Chad Colley were buddies in college. Last year, Malcom dedicated his DAV 5K in remembrance of his longtime friend.

“Rooming next to each other in college, Chad provided a world of experiences to me and others. He was such an inspiration,” Malcom said.

However, Malcom wasn’t the only one impacted by Colley’s life and legacy. 

In Vietnam, Colley served in the 101st Airborne Division. Within six months, he had been promoted from platoon to company commander. While patrolling, Colley stepped on a land mine that exploded, resulting in the loss of three of his limbs, including both legs. Known for his courage in battle, Colley was awarded the Purple Heart, Silver Star, Bronze Star and Combat Infantry Badge. 

Notably, Colley also served as an advisor to former President Ronald Reagan. He was also a gold medalist in the 1992 Winter Paralympics, a recipient of the Disabled American Veteran of the Year Award in 1970 and a longtime chairman of the National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic, which is co-presented by DAV and the Department of Veterans Affairs. 

“I completed the DAV 5K with Chad on my mind,” said Malcom. “I think I had a story of our friendship for every step I took in the 5,000 meters.”

Regrettably, Malcom’s close friend, and an amazing hero, passed away from cancer in 2021.

“I knew Chad before Vietnam when the enemy tried to take his life . . . before he lost his legs,” Malcom said. “Though Chad is no longer with us today, I am honored to take these steps in his memory and for the benefit of other disabled veterans.”

Is there a veteran in your life who inspires you? Join us in the upcoming 2022 DAV 5K.

Register today to walk, roll, run or ride in honor of your special veteran!

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