Rise: A Soldier, a Dream, and a Promise Kept

By Daniel Rodriguez

The unforgettable tale of a tender soldier who survived one of many bloodiest battles in Afghanistan and lived to pursue his dream of taking part in department I university soccer

At 5-foot-8, a hundred seventy five kilos, Daniel Rodriguez was once an not going recruit for the gridiron. yet at the battlefield, below the day-by-day rain of sniper fireplace, he made a promise to his ally. “When i am getting out of this shithole, I’m going to play university football.”

Daniel had joined the military simply weeks after graduating from highschool, having lately suffered a devastating loss. At age nineteen he had no concept what struggle rather was once; he simply desired to get out of city. presently, he used to be deployed to Iraq (and might later serve in Afghanistan). And he grew up fast — stopped drowsing, all started smoking. Killing grew to become moment nature. He fought within the notorious conflict of Kamdesh and for his bravery he used to be presented a red center and the Bronze megastar. yet his ally was once now not so fortunate.

Against all odds, Daniel again domestic — damaged, yet nonetheless alive. caught within the clutches of PTSD, Daniel remembered that fateful promise to his pal and knew he needed to make strong on it. He launched into a grueling education routine and whilst he posted a video of his efforts, it went viral overnight. By a few mixture of grit, selection, and the facility of the net, he earned a place at the Clemson collage soccer staff.

A powerfully introduced narrative of a tender soldier, his not likely dream, and the way he discovered his approach out of darkness, Rise is inspiring, quintessentially American, and should resonate with an individual who has ever fought for what they what they wanted.

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It didn’t take lengthy for me to determine that my father was once too busy to be a good unmarried parent—there used to be no method he may paintings sixty hours per week and likewise be the disciplinarian at domestic. i used to be 16 years previous, and he anticipated me to develop up and take accountability for my activities. He wanted that from me, and that i allow him down. I’d by no means been the best pupil, yet my grades had no less than been applicable. Boys can be boys, after all. I’d usually been whatever of a category clown, and that i infrequently observed price in doing homework or learning prematurely in case you may placed it off until eventually the final minute. I did barely enough to get through. yet I’d by no means gotten in any severe hassle, by no means exhibited disrespectful habit towards academics or classmates. whilst my mom and dad break up up, although, I not needed to fear approximately responsibility. My grades tumbled. I grew to become much less trustworthy. in the summertime after my sophomore yr, I went to reside with my sister Veronica in West Palm seashore, Florida. My father had reasoned that i used to be prone to get into a few critical mischief if i used to be left domestic by myself all summer season, and he used to be correct. regrettably, that association prompted me to overlook a massive bite of preseason education for soccer. I had already been at the varsity for 2 years, yet trainer Berry made up our minds that I’d be demoted to JV as a junior as punishment for lacking summer season routines. I stubbornly (and stupidly) declined that invitation and didn’t play soccer that season. The irony of that summer time sabbatical is that it didn't whatsoever hinder me from getting into difficulty, as my father had meant; actually, it had simply the other impact. I performed in a countrywide AAU basketball match in Atlanta only a couple weeks after college bought out. From there, my dad positioned me on a Greyhound bus for Florida. In my conceitedness, I hadn’t even stricken to speak with trainer Berry approximately my summer season plans. I figured he’d minimize me a few slack given that i used to be a great athlete with a few difficulties at domestic. It was once a egocentric, self-pitying method of a sophisticated state of affairs. i used to be younger, yet I nonetheless must have dealt with it in a different way. in its place, I took off for Florida and what I knew will be a fun-packed summer time. Veronica helped me get a role on the eating place the place she labored, yet she was once too younger and busy to fret approximately maintaining her little brother on a quick leash. I labored in most cases as a barback, working ice and replenishing provides for the bartender. This used to be a reasonably upscale eating place, yet with a significant occasion surroundings. In different phrases, it was once an outstanding activity for a sixteen-and-a-half-year-old child with out parental supervision. I’d work flat out all afternoon and evening, make a pile of cash in information, after which hang around with these types of attractive ladies, a lot of them older than my mom, ingesting and smoking pot and praying for a visit to Cougar city. and no-one particularly cared. I suggest, the executive spoke with my sister, instructed her to maintain a watch on me, yet i believe he discovered the purchasers loved having me round, so . . . no damage, correct? a number of my associates drove down overdue in the summertime to affix the occasion for every week, they usually couldn’t think the best way i used to be dwelling.

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