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HAMPTON ROADS, Va. — Former Navy SEAL Mike Day is training for his first triathlon, which isn’t surprising given that Navy SEALs have to be incredibly fit to do their jobs.
The surprising part is that Day is even alive—much less doing any competitive distance running, biking and swimming.
According to WTKR-TV, Day was shot 27 times on April 6th, 2007, when his unit caught up with Al-Qaeda fighters in a town near Fallujah, Iraq. Day was the first one into a room with three enemy fighters who were waiting. They opened fire, hitting Day 27 times—11 of the shots hit his body armor while the other 16 hit him directly.
One of the terrorists then tossed a grenade less than 10 feet away from him, which exploded and knocked him unconscious.
Day says he woke up about a minute later, still in the middle of the close-quarter firefight. He pulled out his handgun and took down two more of the enemy fighters before the firing stopped.
Miraculously, Day then got up and walked to the medical helicopter, and 72 hours later he was stateside being treated for his wounds. In the course of 16 days in the hospital, Day lost 55 pounds before he was discharged. For his actions that day, Day was awarded the Purple Heart. He has also earned the Silver and Bronze Star along with a dozen other medals from his 20 years in the SEALs.
Now Day has a new mission. He’s trying to raise money for Dallas, Texas-based Carrick Brain Centers, which specializes in working with wounded service members like Day and their dependent children who have suffered severe brain injuries.
Day, who was diagnosed with PTSD following the gunfight and received treatment at Carrick, says the center is on the cutting edge of brain care and adds that most of their treatments are not yet covered by insurance companies.
Day hopes to raise $75,000 for the center by participating in the Half-Ironman Race in Florida on April 12 .
If you would like to help Day, click on the link to his page here.