By Zara Flores
Master Sgt. Israel Del Toro Jr. brought his inspirational wisdom and courage to San Juan Capistrano on Friday, Oct. 4, when he met with the co-founder of Homefront America, Mamie Maywhort, for a luncheon.
Del Toro of the U.S. Air Force was severely injured in Afghanistan in 2005 and became the first 100% disabled airman to reenlist five years later. He spent three months in a coma, and when he awoke, he was told he had a 15% chance of survival and would not be able to breathe or walk on his own if he survived.
With the odds stacked against him, he vowed he wouldn’t let his son grow up without a father, as he had, and pushed through the tribulations of his injuries. A year later, he was walking and breathing on his own.
Sports were a key aspect of his recovery and rehabilitation, and he now participates in Endeavor Games, Invictus Games and other competitions for wounded or disabled individuals.
Most recently, Del Toro was a keynote speaker at the 31st annual Phoenix World Burn Congress in Anaheim, part of the Phoenix Society for burn survivors. The Phoenix Society offers resources and programs for burn victims and their families to help heal emotionally, physically and socially.
After speaking in Anaheim, Del Toro met with Maywhort and friends of Homefront America, a nonprofit organization committed to helping meet the needs of military families, at Ellie’s Table at Egan House.
Homefront America also offers programs such as “Pack for School,” in which they donate backpacks filled with school supplies and back-to-school essentials, as well as many other programs that help boost military family morale and support.
For more information, visit @iDelToro21 on Twitter, HomefrontAmerica.org and Phoenix-Society.org.