Daniel's Open Road


    Operation Roadtrip


Author / Former NFL Player
Rise: A Soldier, a Dream, and a Promise Kept

“I hate categorizing it as ‘military life’ vs. ‘civilian life’—it’s life. Everybody has different roads and avenues—it’s life.”


Sports Armed Services


Dedication Doubt Desire Goals Passion Conflict Societal Pressures Struggle Transitions Fear Perseverance Exploration Fulfillment Community Support & Encouragement Hard Work Inspiration Acceptance Choices Character Individualism Negativity Opportunity Risk Education Experience Pride Hobbies & Pastimes Honesty


Being Physically Active


  • When his dad suddenly passed away after his high school graduation, he realized his life was directionless—within two weeks, he’d visited a military recruiter and signed up for the Army.
  • He was sent to Iraq almost immediately; ended up serving two tours of active duty, one in Iraq, one in Afghanistan.
  • While in Afghanistan, he fought in the Battle of Kamdesh, one of the bloodiest battles of the war; he was injured and lost several of his friends.
  • After receiving the Purple Heart and Bronze Star Medal with Valor Device, he was honorably discharged from the military.
  • He went through a period of deep depression, then eventually realized that the best way to honor the lives of the friends he’d lost was by living out his own dreams.
  • His biggest dream was always to play professional football, so he trained as hard as he could for a year, then spent his last dollar on a recruitment video.
  • Clemson University took notice of the video after it went viral and signed him as a walk-on player; he won several bowl games with the school, then briefly played for the St. Louis Rams.
  • Recently sold the film rights to his autobiography, Rise: A Soldier, a Dream, and a Promise Kept, which was also featured on the New York Times’ best-selling sports books list.

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