Written by William Hale
San Diego veteran and central committee member for the Republican Party of San Diego County, William ‘Bud’ McLeroy has recently been awarded the 2022 DAV Freedom Award at the 36th annual National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic in Snowmass, Colorado.
In 1993, Bud was involved in an accident that resulted in him being a wheelchair user. Despite this tragic setback Bud was the first amputee deployed to Iraq in 2004, where he earned a Purple Heart for helping Iraqi civilians while suffering from another injury during a firefight, “my intestines just started coming through, so I wiggled them back in and bandaged myself up, and then I went back to work for another month because I didn’t want to leave my guys.”
After the incident in Iraq, Bud slowly experienced back pain that progressively got worse and worse, forcing him to the hospital bed for a year and eight months. While recovering from his back injury with the San Diego Veteran Affairs Healthcare System, Bud was invited to a winter sports clinic “I’m up for anything!” said Bud.
His friends describe him as fearless and willing to try anything. “He exemplifies what it is to be out here and overcome your disabilities, he’s done that,” said Andy Marshall of the DAV National Committee.
Bud’s story as an amputee, veteran, and first responder demonstrates his excellent character. Congratulations to Bud McLeroy on winning the 2022 DAV Freedom Award!