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November 21, 2013

Redman Authors 'The Trident' about His Navy Seal Career

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By Jim Raper

Jason Redman, a Navy Seal who was part of the Seaman to Admiral Program as an Old Dominion student and who made headlines in 2007 with his determined recovery from horrible wounds sustained in Iraq, has produced a memoir, "The Trident: The Forging and Reforging of a Navy SEAL."

The book, which Redman wrote together with John R. Bruning, arrived earlier this month in Hampton Roads bookstores, including the University Bookstore in ODU's University Village.

In September 2007, while in charge of an operation to capture an al-Qaida leader, Lt. Redman and his assault team came under heavy machine-gun and small-arms fire and he, along with two other teammates, was wounded in the ensuing firefight. Redman and his team fought their way out of the encounter, but not before he had been shot twice in the arm and once in the face.

While recovering at Bethesda Naval Medical Center, Redman wrote and hung on his door a bright orange sign that became a statement and symbol for wounded warriors everywhere.

It read, in part, "To all who enter here: If you are coming into this room with sorrow or to feel sorry for my wounds, go elsewhere. The wounds I received I got in a job I love, doing it for people I love, supporting the freedom of a country I deeply love."

This sign, which now hangs in the Wounded Ward at the Bethesda medical center, gained national recognition and earned Redman an invitation to meet President George W. Bush at the White House.

Redman has undergone more than 30 surgeries in his recovery, including reconstruction of his face. He has used his experiences as a severely wounded service member and his positive attitude to motivate others and to continue to raise awareness of the sacrifices of America's military forces and their families. This drive led him to create Wounded Wear, a nonprofit organization designed to provide clothing and clothing modifications to America's wounded warriors, to promote awareness throughout the country of the sacrifices that wounded service members have made in the name of freedom, and to foster a sense of pride, camaraderie, determination, and strength of purpose among the wounded and their families on their road to recovery.

A resident of Hampton Roads, Redman has been a motivational speaker for groups including the NFL Cincinnati Bengals and the U.S. Men's 2010 Olympic Hockey team.

In 2009, he received the ODU Alumni Service Award in recognition of exemplary leadership, and significant, compassionate service to community, state, and nation. From his student days - he received a business administration degree from ODU in 2004 - he received a Changing Lives award at ODU's 2004 Founders' Day for creating a "Run for Freedom" benefit on campus for organizations helping military wounded and the families of fallen troops.

Redman's personal military decorations include the Bronze Star Medal with Valor, Purple Heart, Navy Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Navy Achievement Medal (five awards) and Combat Action Ribbon (two awards).