SOFcast

14. Col (Ret) John Alvarez - Helo pilot & first amputee to return to combat flight duty

March 9, 2021

What happens to the operator when he becomes badly injured while deep in the jungle of a foreign country? Join retired Air Force Colonel John Alvarez with Senior Enlisted Leader CMSgt Greg Smith and Green Beret SGM Matt Parrish as they discuss the formation of “Special Forces with wings,” counter-narcotics missions in the 1990s, and John’s experience surviving a catastrophic helicopter crash in a piranha-infested Ecuadorian river.

John describes his challenging journey back to the cockpit after becoming the first amputee to return to full combat flying status. He credits his family, teammates and generous civilian benefactors for his successful return to the Special Operations community. Today, he is a strong advocate for USSOCOM’s Warrior Care Program chartered with advocacy for the command’s wounded, ill, or injured service members and their families. We know you’ll enjoy hearing this compelling conversation about resiliency and the support network within the Special Operations community.

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