A wounded warrior from Bozeman, Montana has been selected to take part in a prestigious new veterans initiative under President George W. Bush's "Bush Institute."

Saul Martinez is an Iraq war veteran who lost both of his legs in an EFP attack. He also serves as the Director of Warrior Services for the Warriors and Quiet Waters Foundation. He joined us on Wednesday's "Montana Talks" radio show with Aaron Flint.

The George W. Bush Institute announced the first class selected to participate in the Stand-To Veteran Leadership Initiative, a first-of-its-kind program aimed at individuals serving our nation's veterans who are motivated to broaden their skillsets, knowledge, and influence across the country.

Throughout the six-month program, participants will hear from a variety of nationally known and distinguished professionals, educators, and experts in post-9/11 veteran transition issues and leadership development. The inaugural class will gather for an opening session in Dallas in June and in the following months attend four weekend sessions in Dallas, Washington, D.C., and Seattle. The program will conclude with a final session and closing ceremony at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in the fall of 2018.

Saul isn't the only Montanan to get selected to this inaugural class. Anne Meree Craig is based in Bozeman, and runs a great organization called the Commit Foundation. She was also selected to take part in the "Stand-To Veterans Leadership Initiative. She'll join us on Friday's "Montana Talks."

For those of you who haven't heard Saul Martinez' story before, here's an excerpt from his profile posted at the Bush Center website:

Sergeant Saul Martinez enlisted as an Army Infantryman in 2006. In May 2007, during the Surge in Iraq, Martinez’ vehicle was hit by a multiple charge E.F.P IED (Explosively Formed Penetrator/Projectile), instantly killing his two friends SPC Kyle Little and SGT Blake Stephens. Martinez was the only survivor.

Most recently in 2017, a painting of Martinez was featured in President Bush’s “Portraits of Courage,” a work that has provided visibility to our nation’s service members and their stories. He also starred in a commercial alongside famed golfer Jordan Spieth that was aired during the Masters of 2017.

Courtesy Saul Martinez
Courtesy Saul Martinez


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