|MAJ Ed Pulido (Ret)
Ed Pulido is currently the Vice President of Research and Convening for United Way of Central Oklahoma. Before his tenure at United Way of Central Oklahoma, Ed was the Community Counseling Center Marketing and Public Relations Director in his 10 years with that organization. Ed Pulido, while serving in the U.S. Army Reserves and ROTC
Program, received his Associates Degree in Military Science from Cameron University. He then received his Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice Administration from Cameron University and later another Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing and Public Relations from the University of Oklahoma military extension program. Additionally, Edward has a Master’s Degree in Human Relations. He has attained the Rank of Major in his 18-year military career and on May 16, 2005, he was medically retired from the United States Army with full benefits.
On a sadder note, on the 17 August 2004, Major Pulido while serving a combat tour in Iraq, training the new Iraqi Army hit an improvised explosive device (IED) or road side bomb. Due to the extensive injuries to his left knee the doctors had to amputate his left leg on October 1, 2004. For his heroism and valor on that August day the President of the United States awarded him the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, and Joint Service Achievement Medal.
Major Pulido’s story of courage has been featured on Time Magazine, Fox News, CNN, and all the local Oklahoma City television stations and newspapers. Since, his amputation, Major Pulido has been a staunch advocate for individuals with disabilities. He is spearheading an effort in Oklahoma to provide benefits counseling for other soldiers who have experienced life changing injuries and amputations, through a new program he helped develop called Heroes Helping Heroes or Heroes Support
Network. This program is a part of Its For America Inc., a nonprofit veteran’s organization who has been serving military service members since 1990 and who’s mission is to provide assistance to soldiers in Oklahoma and Texas.
On a more personal note, Ed has been a peer counselor at Brooke Army Medical Center on behalf of the Amputee Coalition of America. Additionally, Ed and his peers attended Disabled Sports USA’s ski clinic in Sun Valley, Idaho and its water ski clinic in New York City. Furthermore, he has participated in mountain climbing, mountain repelling, paralympic archery and was sponsored in this year’s clinics at University of Central Oklahoma’s Endeavor Games as part of the Disabled Sports USA’s Wounded Warrior Project. His hard work and dedication in these areas have provided him countless awards including the prestigious Disabled American Veteran of the Year Award, the Hero’s award from the American Red Cross, the Reaching Our City Award and the prestigious Tuskahoma Brown Miller Award for outstanding leadership and community Service in the State of Oklahoma.
||COL John Reitzell (Ret)
After a 28 year Army career, Colonel John Reitzell retired to Huntsville, Al. and is currently employed by Dynetics Inc, a Soldier centric Company that specializes in R&D and engineering for the guys at the pointy end of the spear. Col. Reitzell served in the 82d Airborne, the 4th Infantry, the 2d Infantry, the 2d Armored Divisions, the 173rd Airborne Brigade, and commanded the famed 1st Battalion 509th Parachute Infantry and is in that unit’s Hall of Fame.
His assignments began at platoon leader level and increased in responsibility through Brigade Command. He commanded 2 Infantry Battalions of over 700 Soldiers and a Brigade of over 2,500. In combat Col. Reitzell served as a commander in Light Infantry, Parachute Infantry, and Ranger Infantry. After a tour at the United States Air Force Academy as “the Army guy” where he was the Officer In Charge of the United States Air Force Parachute Team, The Wings Of Blue, Col. Reitzell spent a year in Korea as the operations officer of the “Frontline Brigade” on the DMZ. What followed were multiple years in “black” Special Ops at Ft. Bragg, where he deployed on 36 “real world” operations in support of the US Counter Terrorism mission. Operations such as the invasion of Grenada, the response to the hijacking of TWA 847 and the seizing of the cruise ship Achille Lauro by terrorists are examples of these missions.
Tom Clancy chronicles Col. Reitzell’s participation in the Achille Lauro response in the “Chase” Chapter of his book “Shadow Warriors,” and New York Times best selling author W.E.B. Griffin has dedicated his new series of novels on the rising threat of terrorism to John. Col. Reitzell retired in 1997 as the Chief of Staff of the United States Army Infantry School at Ft. Benning, and was inducted into the Madison County, Al. Hall of Heroes in 2003. John speaks professionally for the Young America’s Foundation and has addressed college students on campuses across the country. He sits on the Board of Directors of the Tennessee Valley Chapter of the National Defense Industrial Association and the Huntsville-Redstone Chapter of The Association of the United States Army.
Congresswoman Mary Fallin of Oklahoma says about Col. Reitzell “that he should address Congress from the floor and educate the Members on the history of terrorism and the current threat” and Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama says “I’m glad John’s on our side.” Col. Reitzell retired with 3 Legions of merit, 4 Bronze Stars with “V” device for valor, the Purple Heart, The Combat Infantryman’s Badge, Master Parachutist Badge with over 500 jumps, the Ranger Tab, and numerous other decorations from multiple services and countries. John’s wife Glenda is a Gubernatorial appointee to the U.S. Space and Rocket Commission and they have two grown children.