Project Overview

PROJECT: 2011 HERO[series]
LOCATION: Grand Rapids, Michigan

VETERAN: Anonymous
BRANCH: U.S. Marines

VIDEO: Josh Beebe
VENUE: Regal Financial

Design Story


In pursuit of an insurgent armed with a R.P.G. in the streets of Fallujah, Iraq, a group of Marines cornered him. One shot rang out, forcing the Marines to take cover. Immediately they all got up and captured the insurgent, all except for one. A sniper’s bullet hit a Marine from behind, paralyzing him from the neck-down and also damaging his vocal cords, leaving him unable to speak.

Although unable to communicate by himself, Tyler asked the Marine countless “Yes or No,” questions to begin understanding his story, style, and desired message. The final question asked was, “What is your definition of a HERO?” Through a special alphanumeric communication code that was translated with the aid of his nurse, the Marine slowly spelled-out his response, “T-O-T-A-L S-A-C-R-I-F-I-C-E.” He did not consider himself a hero, but rather, those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.