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DAV Spotlight: Bud McLeroy

In 1993, while serving as a firefighter and infantryman in the Army Reserve, Bud was in a horrible vehicle accident and had to have his leg amputated. Bud’s life would never be the same. But he was determined to continue helping people and serving his country. 

Bud became the first professional one-legged firefighter. And in 2003, he was activated for deployment with the U.S. Army, making him the first amputee to serve in Iraq.

Six months into his tour, Bud was crushed while rendering aid to Iraqi civilians during a firefight. The incident caused severe damage to his spinal cord and eventually resulted in an 18-month hospitalization … and the end of his nearly 33-year career in the military. 

Many veterans struggle to find purpose after serving their country — and for veterans with severe disabilities like Bud’s, it can be even more difficult. But thanks to your generous support, Bud found a new purpose and passion.

Each year, Bud attends the National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic, co-hosted by DAV and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Now in a wheelchair, Bud is able to continue challenging himself, overcoming his disabilities, and inspiring others through skiing, curling, and other adaptive sports. Watch more on Bud’s story here.

"The people that put this on are saving lives. They're giving people the opportunity to fulfill life in general," says Bud. 

Bud is just one of the many veterans whose lives you’re touching in real and impactful ways through your generous support of DAV. 

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