2012 - Life Is
HERO: Danielle Green
BRANCH: U.S. Army
ARTIST: Phil Jones
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MEANING BEHIND THE DESIGN:
A former Notre Dame basketball star and U.S. Army Specialist, Danielle Green-Byrd, was hit by a rocket propelled grenade while on patrol in Iraq. After regaining consciousness in the hospital, she discovered that her dominant left arm had been blown off, along with her wedding ring. Her design represents life’s journey. Each door is a symbol of her ever changing life, including the door knob changing orientation to accommodate her lost arm and a chapel door left open for eternity to symbolize the sudden and unexpected passing of her husband. Her design is a daily reminder to continue pushing forward, no matter what door may close because soon, another door will open.
At the 2015 ESPY Awards on ESPN, Green was honored with the Pat Tillman Award for Service for her continued service helping other veterans in need. In her award speech, Green asked the crowd of superstar athletes and celebrities, "If my story leaves you with one thing... I hope it leaves you with a challenge. Ask yourself: What is my purpose?" She added, "We can all find ways to support the people around us. We can all find a purpose on this Earth larger than yourself.