Former EOD Tech Runs for Congress (He's Also a Double Amputee)
Staff Sergeant Brian Mast (now medically retired) lost both of his legs to an IED in Afghanistan; Mast was at the time an EOD tech serving with JSOC and spent the following months at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. recovering from his injuries.
On September 19, 2010, Mast was attached to 75th Ranger Regiment in southern Afghanistan. Even before landing, small arms fire was aimed at the helicopters the task force was riding on.
After landing Mast took lead of the assault force on its approach to the compound they were to raid. During the movement a soldier fell off a narrow ladder placed across a small waterway.
Walsh was told after the fact that he had doubled back to help pull the soldier out, and while making his approach stepped on and detonated the IED that took his legs.
It was while bedridden for two months at Walter Reed that Mast first started to think about running as a congressman for the state of Florida.
Serving was in Mast’s blood- his father served in the Army during the Korean War, as did his uncles, although all in different branches.
For Mast the decision to continue serving his country after the Army was an easy one, “as I’m lying there in a hospital bed and I’m talking to my wife, I was telling her that it would be very difficult to go through life thinking that the best contribution I’ve made to America is in my past.”
Thankfully everything fell in place for Mast as Democratic Rep. Patrick Murphy announced his bid for the Senate, opening up his seat for election. Should he win, Mast will represent Florida in its 18th Congressional District.
Since leaving the Army Mast has enrolled at Harvard University where he will graduate this spring with a concentration in economics and double minors in government and environmental studies.
During his time at Harvard, Mast also went to Israel in support of Operation Protective Edge.
To date Mast has risen over $170,00 for his campaign. Many supporters realize that Mast isn’t like most politicians- “the decisions we’re looking to make in Washington, D.C., have very real consequences for every person in whatever community. It’s real names, and it’s real faces, and it’ s real small businesses, and it’s real families. It’s easy for the people in Washington, D.C., to forget that.
Mast has been awarded the Bronze Star, the Army Commendation Medal (with V-device), the Purple Heart, and the Defense Meritorious Service Medal.
About the author: Andrew Farquharson is an Iraq Campaign veteran and an ex-cavalry scout currently living the dream in Newport, Rhode Island as a college student. Aside from writing for 11Bravos his hobbies include mountain climbing, shooting guns and convincing women they should date him. Comments or hate mail can be sent firstname.lastname@example.org or, follow him on Instagram @Lord_Farquharson