Valley veteran on a mission to help fellow wounded vets

Nov 1, 2013, 5:00 AM | Updated: Nov 11, 2013, 11:42 am
...

Over the next week-and-a-half KTAR will be introducing and profiling the Grand Marshals for this year’s Veterans Day Parade in Phoenix.

SURPRISE, Ariz. — After being wounded twice in Iraq and nearly losing his life, one Valley veteran is now on a different mission to serve his brothers-in-arms.

In retired Sgt. 1st Class Brian Mancini’s home office in Surprise, there are dozens of reminders of the nearly 13 years he spent serving the nation.

His Army camouflage uniform is hanging up, along with his two purple hearts. A map shows the exact location of where he was hurt. Next to them is a poem painted on the only blue wall in the office.

Pity

Don’t you dare pity me for I live pity free.

I would do it all over again If need be, for this great nation tis of thee.

I stand tall and proud so don’t you dare pity me, for I live and will die pity free.

No matter how mangled my body it may be, the scars and pain are simple reminders you see, the sacrifices made for the land of the free.

There are many more who have given more than me,

So I honor them by living pity free.

I truly have lived better living pity free.

So I have one request, can you do it for me?

Please don’t you dare pity me, for I live proud

and pity free.

Mancini, 34, wrote the poem a few months after he nearly died while on patrol in Iraq.

“In July 2007, I got hit by a roadside bomb. I remember not being able to breathe,” Mancini recalled.

His teeth were blown out of his mouth, while a piece of his sunglasses got lodged in his eye socket. He was choking on his own blood before he lost consciousness.

Mancini’s heart stopped twice that day.

He remembers waking up at the combat support hospital and thinking, “Thank God.”

But the next four years would be the most difficult of his life.

“I ended up losing my right eye and had a lot of my forehead replaced. It’s all titanium mesh,” said Mancini.

He had to learn how to walk and talk again. He had severe nerve damage and many sleepless nights.

His wife also left.

At one point, the stress became too much.

“I contemplated suicide, like many veterans do. And in that moment, I just cried out in the midst of having a .45 in my hand that was locked and loaded and ready to go,” said Mancini.

Then, in the darkest of moments, Mancini found a reason to live.

“I got an overwhelming sense of purpose that God was going to use all of this, and I stepped out and started a non-profit,” said Mancini.

The Honor House is an organization that Mancini has been working on opening for roughly two years. It’s a program that transitions wounded vets from the battlefield back to the homefront.

“It’s a proactive approach on treating some of the issues that we’ve seen, [by] just providing them with some services and alternatives that they may have not been introduced to,” Mancini explained.

So far, he has two rooms dedicated to the cause, which will serve as transitional homes for veterans who don’t yet have a place to live.

While at Honor House, they’ll be introduced to all types of recovery services, both mental and physical. The program is slated to start at the beginning of 2014.

Mancini said it’s a different way of treating fellow veterans and not just prescribing them pills to mask their pain and anger.

It’s his way of continuing to serve the country and teaching others to live pity-free.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Putting World)...
KTAR.com

Putting World, with 18-hole indoor course, opens in Scottsdale

Putting World, a new putting venue featuring an 18-hole indoor course, opened in Scottsdale.
1 day ago
(ADOT Photo)...
KTAR.com

Here are the top 10 most popular specialty license plates in Arizona in 2022

The Arizona Department of Transportation on Wednesday released its 10 most popular custom plates designs of 2022. There was a repeat winner.
1 day ago
The WM Phoenix Open is a major economic driver. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)...
Kevin Stone

2022 WM Phoenix Open drove economic impact of over $450M, study finds

The WM Phoenix Open pumped nearly half a billion dollars into the local economy last year, according to an economic impact study.
1 day ago
(Getty Images Photos)...
Kevin Stone

Bryan Adams running to Phoenix with help from Joan Jett

Bryan Adams’ So Happy It Hurts Tour comes to Footprint Center in Phoenix this summer with Joan Jett and the Blackhearts.
1 day ago
Armando Real (Photo via Arizona Department of Public Safety)...
KTAR.com

Silver Alert issued for Phoenix man last seen near 24th Street and Buckeye

Authorities issued a Silver Alert on Thursday for a missing Phoenix man who was last seen a day earlier near 24th Street and Buckeye Road.
1 day ago
(City of Buckeye Photo)...
KTAR.com

Buckeye to move forward with $80 million water rights agreement

A West Valley city has secured a source of water for a minimum of 100 years after approving an $80 million deal this week.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

(Pexels Photo)...

Sports gambling can be fun for adults, but it’s a dangerous game for children

While adults may find that sports gambling is a way to enhance the experience with more than just fandom on the line, it can be a dangerous proposition if children get involved in the activity.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Prep the plumbing in your home just in time for the holidays

With the holidays approaching, it's important to know when your home is in need of heating and plumbing updates before more guests start to come around.
...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.
Valley veteran on a mission to help fellow wounded vets