Michael J. McNaughton was born November 7, 1971 in White Plains, NY. He grew up in Tarry Town, NY and graduated from Sleepy Hollows High School in June of 1990. Michael enlisted in the United States Army on September 18, 1990 and attended basic training at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. He served for 10 years on active duty and then decided to begin a new career and spend more time with his wife and 5 children.
However, Michael’s plans changed after the September 11th attacks. Feeling impassioned to serve again, he enlisted in the Louisiana Army National Guard in December 2001. Michael was assigned to the 769th Engineer Battalion out of Baton Rouge, LA . He attended Combat Engineer School in January 2002 and was ordered to duty and mobilized with his unit on May 28, 2002 and deployed to Bagram, Afghanistan in July. In Afghanistan, Michael was in charge of mine clearing operations. On Jan. 9, 2003, during one such operation, Michael stepped on a live mine. “I knew it the moment I stepped on it,” says the avid runner and married father of five. I knew what it would sound like. And I knew my leg would be gone.”
Michael lost his right leg and two fingers in the blast. While rehabilitating at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, Michael was visited by the Michael McNaughton, U.S. Army President who told him to give him a call when he was ready to run. In spring 2004, Michael took the President up on his offer and ran a mile with him. He then trained for a marathon. It wasn’t easy. He fell. He got hurt. On Jan. 9, 2005 — two years to the day he lost his leg — he ran a half marathon. In March 2005, he ran a full 26.2 mile marathon and in 2006 Michael completed the run portion of the CAF San Diego Triathlon Challenge. Michael is also an avid mountain biker.
“We’re changing a lot of perceptions these days.” –Michael McNaughton
How Does Operation Rebound Help?
Operation Rebound provides unparalleled sports opportunities and support to our troops and veterans of any branch of service and first responders who have served honorably and have suffered permanent physical injuries. Grants are awarded for event travel, lodging, entry fees, training and equipment.
How Can You Help?
Make a tax-deductible contribution to Challenged Athletes, Inc., (dba Challenged Athletes Foundation) a non-profit 501 (C) (3) organization. To make a donation, please call (858) 866-0959, send a check to the address listed below, or make a secure payment through our website: www.challengedathletes.org.