Brevard Achievement Center (BAC) is proud to announce that Patrick Air Force Base (PAFB) Associate and Wounded Warrior, Edward Johnson, Jr. has been awarded the 2012 AbilityOne Program Employee Award: Honor Roll For Veterans With Disabilities, a national recognition.
While in combat in Iraq in 2006, Ed was injured from a sniper’s gunshot to the head. Although the sniper’s bullet went through Ed’s helmet, miraculously it only grazed his scalp. Ed lost consciousness and was confused for several days, but was sent back to combat a week after the incident. For three more years Ed continued with his mission suffering further injuries from three separate roadside bomb attacks in Iraq. Ed’s memory and cognition declined with each injury causing the military to eventually diagnose him with a traumatic brain injury, as well as post-traumatic stress disorder.
Because of Ed’s injuries, even basic daily activities became hard for him to remember. Frustrated, Ed’s wife, Serena fought for him to be placed at the Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic in Ft. Benning, Ga. where he eventually spent a year in rehab. Once out, Ed, Serena and their son moved back to Brevard County and, thanks to Serena’s learning about BAC, Ed was able to go back to work through BAC’s AbilityOne program, a national program that provides work opportunities at contracted federal work sites to people with disabilties, including veterans and Wounded Warriors. Ed has been a custodian at PAFB since April 2012.
Operations Coordinator, Sandi Mayo, nominated Ed for the award.
“Everyone who knows Ed will tell you that “can’t” is not in his vocabulary,” Mayo said. “After all of the injuries he suffered, Ed doesn’t look back and feel pity for himself, but shows us all that with hard work and perseverance, anything is possible.” Mayo added, “I think the fact that Ed was chosen by two judging panels from 50,000 applicants says it all.”
The AbilityOne Program Employee Award: Honor Roll For Veterans With Disabilities is given to honor veterans with significant disabilities who have shown outstanding achievement in their work life. In addition to the award, Ed and his wife received an all expenses paid trip to San Antonio, Tex. to attend the national awards ceremony, as well as a $1,000 gift and video highlighting his accomplishments; the video was shown at the ceremony.
To learn more about AbilityOne, visit their web site at www.nish.org.