Chicago honors Veteran's Day

November 11, 2011 4:28:15 AM PST
Maj. Ed Pulido visited the ABC7 studio to talk about his experience serving in the U.S. Army in Iraq and Chicago's plans for Veteran's Day.

Pulido's family hails from the Midway Airport area. He travels the country serving as a speaker and advocate for veterans with disabilities and is a sought-after speaker on veterans with PTDS and Traumatic Brain Injuries.

Pulido was hit by an IED in August of 2004 while serving in Iraq. That forever changed his life. He suffered extensive injuries to his left leg, and subsequently had it amputated. For his heroism, General David Petraeus personally awarded Major Pulido the Bronze Star with valor and the Purple Heart.

He is coming to Chicago to participate in a Veterans Appreciation event at Union Station. The Great Hall will be turned into a red, white, and blue salute to veterans where hundreds of FifthThird bank employees and veterans will spend the day assembling 530 care packages that will be sent to soldiers who are currently serving in Afghanistan. They are also awarding $100,000 in educational scholarships to families of soldiers wounded or killed in the line of duty (thru the Folds of Honor Foundation).

Mayor Emanuel will Join Others to Show Appreciation for Veterans on Veterans Day

RELEASE - Fifth Third Bank is hosting a "Veterans Appreciation" event on Friday, Nov. 11th (Veterans Day) in the Great Hall of Union Station (210 S. Canal), where the following activities will occur:

9 a.m. - 2 p.m.: Volunteers will assemble 530 care packages that will be sent to soldiers who are serving in Afghanistan. The public is invited to come and write personal notes or draw pictures that will be included in the care packages. Bank employees and local veterans will continue to collect donations that will fund educational scholarships for local families of soldiers wounded or killed in action through the Folds of Honor Foundation. Local high school students will perform military/patriotic music throughout the day.

1:15 p.m. - 1:45 p.m. - MEDIA/PHOTO OP: Chicago business, civic, and media leaders will assemble care packages that will be sent to soldiers serving overseas.

2 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. - MEDIA EVENT: Major Ed Pulido (Retired, Army) will emcee the day's Veterans Day Appreciation Event. Mayor Here we will pay respect to those who have served our country and those currently serving, announce the total amount raised for educational scholarships, and present scholarships to local military families. The rally's grand finale will involve local leaders, celebrities, and employees walking the 530 care packages out of Union Station and unto US Postal Service trucks headed on their 4-6 week journey to soldiers serving in Afghanistan.

BIO: Major Ed Pulido, U.S. Army
Vice President, Folds of Honor Foundation
Board member, Pros 4 vets
President, Warriors for Freedom

Major Ed Pulido, U.S. Army (Ret.) is the Vice President of the Folds of Honor Foundation a Veteran's charity which provides the spouses and children of the fallen and wounded educational scholarships. Additionally, he is a Board member for Pros 4 Vets a Veterans charity which brings together professional athletes and working professionals from diverse backgrounds to provide legal and mental health support to active service members, Veterans and their families. Finally, he is the President of Warriors for Freedom a leadership institute focused on the mental, physical and holistic recovery of our wounded warriors and their families.

Major Pulido has a degree in Military Science, Marketing, and Criminal Justice and a Masters Degree in Logistics Management/ Human Relations. He attained the Rank of Major in his 19-year military career and on May 16, 2005, he was medically retired from the United States Army.

On the 17th of August, 2004, Major Pulido hit an Improvised Explosive Device (I.E.D) or roadside bomb while serving with the Coalition Military Assistance Training Team under the command of General David Petraeus. Due to the extensive injuries to his left knee, 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 along with General David Petraeus awarded him the Bronze Star with valor, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, and Joint Service Commendation and Achievement Medals.

Major Pulido's story of courage and sacrifice has been featured in Time Magazine, PGA Magazine, Fox News, CNN and many national and local Oklahoma City television stations and print media. Since, his amputation, Major Pulido has been a staunch advocate for veterans with disabilities, specifically focusing on advocacy efforts to promote prosthetic technologies with Ortho Care Innovations, peer visiting with fellow amputees at Brooke and Walter Reed Medical Centers, and raising awareness on the needs of veterans with PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injuries (T.B.I) on behalf of the DOD and VA Real Warriors National Campaign.

He has received 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, OKC Thunder/Devon Energy Community Hero Award, and the Daughters of the American Revolution Veteran Patient Award. Additionally, he has received the Valley Forge Freedom Foundation Award for national and state level service and the Tuskahoma Brown Miller Award for outstanding leadership.

On a personal note, Major Pulido during his time in the hospital experienced the inner darkness of depression, PTSD, and suicidal ideation that would cripple his positive spirit. This inner darkness he describes as a "deep wounding of a soldiers spirit". It was at that time that he understood that as a Warrior he could not walk alone in this journey. In that moment, he asked for help from his God, Country, his family and the American people. The result of this intervention would put his life on the road to recovery. It would also be the building block for his understanding the inner wounds of war and making sure that mental health is a focus of the Department of Defense and the VA.

Major Pulido currently serves on the boards of the Mental Health Association, Pros 4 Vets, Oklahoma 211 and Operation Homefront. He is a national and global spokesperson for the DOD and VA Real Warriors National Campaign and he chairs the Oklahoma Veterans Policy Academy a partnership with the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services with a mission to address the mental health needs of returning service members, Veterans and their families.

Ed Pulido has been married to Karen Pulido for 19 years. He has a daughter Kaitlin and a daughter Kinsley. He and his family reside in Edmond, Oklahoma.

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