24th Anniversary Clearing the Path Gala
Thank you to all who tuned in or attended! Watch the recap of the Gala here:
Thank you to all who attended the Marshall Legacy Institute's 24th Anniversary Clearing the Path Gala on October 20, 2021, at the Willard InterContinental Hotel in Washington, DC. During this celebratory evening, we honored individuals whose work and dedication to helping others have withstood the trials and challenges of the past year.
MDD Iron-Cowgirl and Sergeant Houssam Mahmoud
Mine Detection Dog Team of the Year Award
MDD Iron-Cowgirl was sponsored by the Wyoming Association of Broadcasters in 2015. She has trained exclusively with Sergeant Mahmoud since her arrival to Lebanon, which helped the team form a strong bond that has been integral to their success in the field. Sergeant Mahmoud is one of the most experienced handlers on the Lebanese Armed Forces team, with over 10 years of working with lifesaving canines. He hopes to become a certified trainer when MDD Iron-Cowgirl retires next year.
This team's heroic efforts have benefitted over 70,000 people! The man-dog team searched more than 60,000 square meters of land, all of which has been released and is now used for hiking, camping, agriculture, pasture, and construction projects.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Survivors' Assistance Award
Dejan was only 8 years old when he encountered an unexploded ordnance in East Sarajevo that resulted in the amputation of both his legs. Through his admirable strength and determination, Dejan committed to learning to walk with his prostheses and return to the childhood he knew before the accident. “I played with my friends, and continued school. I didn’t feel handicapped … I didn’t let myself!”
Now at 36, Dejan is passionate about bike riding, hiking, hunting, mountain climbing, and most importantly, advocating for his fellow landmine survivors. Dejan currently works at a prosthetic company and is training to become a prosthetic technician to help other amputees like himself.
Alex Gorsky, CEO,
Johnson & Johnson
Humanitarian Service Award
MLI is proud to honor Alex Gorsky, CEO of Johnson & Johnson, with our 2021 Humanitarian Service Award. Alex and his team at JNJ have made remarkable contributions in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic.
While the past year has been a great challenge for everyone, it has been especially difficult for those suffering the devastating effects of landmines along with the deadly Covid-19 pandemic. The work of Alex and the Johnson & Johnson team has helped make the world a safer and healthier place.
SGT (Ret.) John Peck, USMC
While deployed to Afghanistan in 2010, Sergeant Peck was severely injured by an IED, which resulted in the amputation of both of his arms and legs. After years of recovery and perseverance, Peck successfully underwent a double arm transplant in 2016.
Sergeant Peck chronicled his ups and downs in an autobiography, Rebuilding Sergeant Peck: How I Put Body and Soul Back Together After Afghanistan, with the intention to help others improve their mindset. “I want readers to know that things will always get better, to have faith, and to try to have a sense of humor about it all," he wrote. “If I can achieve my goals with all that I’ve been through, anyone can.”
Joan Wismer Student Leader Award
Divya joined Poolesville High School’s Peacemakers and Problem Solvers (PMPS) Club in 2019 and only a year later volunteered to serve as a student leader. Despite the challenges of the 2020-2021 school year, Divya found creative ways to continue engaging students through virtual club meetings. Divya’s leadership encouraged her club to stay on track learning the PMPS curriculum and implementing a service learning project in their community.
Master of Ceremonies:
Director, Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement, U.S. Department of State
Major General (Ret.) Robert (Bo) Dyess
The Honorable Sherri Goodman
The Honorable Darrell Issa
General (Ret.) Gordon R. Sullivan
CAMMO's Voices of Service
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Thank you to our 2021 Clearing the Path Gala Sponsors!