MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. - Dan Caro, American300 Warrior Tours Fire and Ice tour member, plays an improvised drum set for Airmen and personnel from the 5th Logistics Readiness Squadron here Aug. 7. Caro visited a variety of locations on base and shared his story with Airmen, to encourage them to keep trying to reach their goals no matter how insurmountable the hardships of their lives might seem. (U.S Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Stephanie Ashley)
MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. -- Dan Caro, American300 Warrior Tours Fire and Ice tour member, signs autographs for Airmen and personnel from the 5th Logistics Readiness Squadron assisted by Airman 1st Class Wilbur Velasco, 5th LRS vehicle operator here Aug. 7. The tour gave Caro the opportunity to share his story with base Airmen, and also to encourage them to keep fighting for the things that matter most to them no matter what the odds. "It really touched my when they (the tour members) spoke about overcoming your past" Velesco said with a smile, "it inspired me to be stronger." (U.S Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Stephanie Ashley)
by Senior Airman Jessica McConnell
Minot Air Force Base Public Affairs
8/16/2012 - MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. -- The American300 Warrior Tours visited Minot Air Force Base Aug. 7 to 8, during its Never Quit Series to speak with Minot Airmen and encourage them in the realm of resiliency and motivation.
This series of the tour, Fire and Ice, included special guests Dan Caro and Todd Lodwick, both survivors of severe burn accidents.
Dan Caro sustained third degree burns to more than 70 percent of his body when he was only two years old. Caro was in the family garage when the pilot light of a hot water heater ignited gasoline fumes. As a result of his injuries, he lost his right hand, most of his left hand and is severely scarred.
While many may have given up, Caro has been living life to the fullest. Caro had the lifelong dream of becoming a musician, and now, can say he has made it.
"I just wanted to be like all the other kids growing up," said Caro. "Anything they would do, I had to do too, no matter what that meant. If I had to bang up my fragile knees to play on the playground, then that's what I did."
Caro now plays the drums, and is a respected drummer in New Orleans, La. His talent has landed him many gigs with some of the world's greatest performers. Additionally, he is an ambassador for the Shriners of North America and travels around the country speaking of fulfillment and achievement.
Todd Lodwick, a five-time Olympian, Olympic Silver Medalist, World Champion and burn victim, also stopped by the base to visit during the Never Quit Tour.
Lodwick sustained third degree burns on most of his back and legs. After many surgeries and lots of therapy, Lodwick was able to participate in outdoor activities again, including a sport called Nordic Combined.
Nordic Combined is a sport that involves both ski jumping and cross country skiing. Lodwick reached the top, with his first world championship gold medal, a feat many thought would never happen.
Both speakers travelled the base visiting several squadrons and buildings. Squadrons and sites visited included the McAdoo Sports and Fitness Center, Airmen Leadership School, the 5th Logistics Readiness Squadron, the 5th Maintenance Squadron, the medical clinic, the 5th Force Support Squadron, and the Fire Department.
Speakers on the AFGSC "Never Quit" series in the past have included Olympic and XGames athletes: Sean Colgan, Dan Beery, Mike Schultz, Erin Simmons and Kurt Yaeger, as well as military members such as former Army ranger "Mad Max" Mullen, and William "Spanky" Gibson, the first above knee amputee to redeploy with his prosthetic to the front lines in Iraq. The unpaid volunteer speakers are reimbursed only for travel and lodging expenses.
Air Force Global Strike Command recognizes the importance of Airmen resiliency, morale and strength. American300 is only one of many AFGSC initiatives aimed at improving mission performance in all areas and to focus on improving the quality of life for Airmen.