Texas native Corporal Nick Perales served six years as a U.S. Marine Corps scout sniper and served two tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. In February 2011, he was hit by an improvised explosive device (IED) incident where he sustained numerous injuries that resulted in a below-the-knee amputation of his right leg and a fusion of his left ankle. During his career in the Marine Corps, he received numerous awards including a Purple Heart. He is now a regular competitor in adventure races, as well as CrossFit and other competitions. Cpl Perales was unable to attend last year’s Charity Ball because he was summiting Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa.
Sgt Matthew Melancon, of the First Platoon Apache Company 2-28 Infantry Battalion, suffered severe injuries to his feet and legs in 2011 when the truck he was riding in hit an IED while on a routine patrol in Afghanistan. Melancon’s injuries required two dozen surgeries and resulted in amputation of both legs below the knees. He has received numerous awards including the Combat Infantryman’s Badge and the Purple Heart. His injuries have spurred him on to do more than ever before – in fact he says his double amputation has been a blessing.
The evening’s festivities will begin at 5PM with a social hour and silent auction bidding, followed by the opening ceremonies, guest speakers, dinner, and dancing. A highlight of the evening is the presentation of awards to the Military, Law Enforcement, Fire & Rescue, and EMS Sheep Dogs of the Year, as well as other special recognition and awards.
Proceeds from the Charity Ball will fund SDIA programs including Sheep Dogs in Need, Project Giving and Christmas Outreach, as well as provide materials and supplies for disaster relief missions and disaster preparedness classes.