Master Sgt. Israel Del Toro asked to speak at 2018 Junior College World Series Banquet

In sports, perseverance and determination are values one must adopt and embrace when faced with adversity. It is the heart one has to have to grind through the pain to accomplish your goals and get through to the other side. The same however can be said about life and in this case more specifically, war.

The keynote speaker this year at the JUCO Banquet will be, Master Sgt. Del Toro, a brave and courageous American who put his life on the line for our country when serving a tour in Afghanistan in 2005. His story is one of true perseverance to just survive, showing us the truly unbelievable strong spirit a single human can possess. 

 
 Master Sgt. Israel Del Toro throws a shotput during the 2016 Invictus Games in Orlando, Fla., May 10, 2016. He earned a gold medal in the men’s shot put in his disability category. (DOD photo/EJ Hersom)

Master Sgt. Israel Del Toro throws a shotput during the 2016 Invictus Games in Orlando, Fla., May 10, 2016. He earned a gold medal in the men’s shot put in his disability category. (DOD photo/EJ Hersom)

 

Del Toro was injured in an attack on his Humvee when they drove over a hidden landmine. He suffered severe burns that engulfed 80 percent of his body, but that didn't stop him from making his way to a stream to extinguish the flames and still having his wit about him to call in an airstrike and radio for medical help.

After only being given a slim chance of survival, Del Toro spent the next few months in a coma where he would then wake up to begin several years of difficult surgeries and rehab. During this time he received a Bronze Star and Purple Heart for his service.

Del Toro had lost one of his hands and most of his fingers on the other, but that didn’t stop his heart from desiring to get back out and compete and set goals for himself. 

 Former President George W. Bush fist bumps with Air Force Master Sgt. Israel Del Toro during the 2016 Invictus Games Symposium on Invisible Wounds in Orlando, Fla., May 8, 2016. The symposium, hosted by Bush and Britain’s Prince Harry, sought to destigmatize the victims of post-traumatic stress and other injuries that are not readily visible. DoD photo by EJ Hersom

Former President George W. Bush fist bumps with Air Force Master Sgt. Israel Del Toro during the 2016 Invictus Games Symposium on Invisible Wounds in Orlando, Fla., May 8, 2016. The symposium, hosted by Bush and Britain’s Prince Harry, sought to destigmatize the victims of post-traumatic stress and other injuries that are not readily visible. DoD photo by EJ Hersom

He ended up competing in the Invictus Games, which was a competition specifically for sick or injured servicemen and servicewomen. He ended up winning a gold medal and setting records in the 2016 games for his participation in the javelin, shot put, and discus events.

He will be speaking about his journey and inspiring all the young athletes about what it takes when life can throw you a curveball. His perseverance to continue on with striving to be the best in life, is a story we can all admire.

The JUCO Banquet will be held on May 25th at 6:00pm with tickets for the banquet starting at $50 which will go on sale in April.
 

Zach BullettJUCO