“You always have the choice to be more than who you are. In doing so, you will inspire someone.” Lt. John Pucillo, an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) officer in the U.S. Navy, emphasized this theme of personal choice in his speech to a packed theater at the Navy Memorial last Friday. Lieutenant Pucillo, who lost a leg in an IED explosion in Baghdad in 2006, was one of nine speakers selected to perform at the November 19 “Tedx Pentagon: The Human Stories” conference, which was hosted by the Department of Defense and webcast live. The short and succinct speeches, with their talent silouetted in the dark theater, were essentially one-act, one-man plays — much more compelling than a traditional Power Point-dominated lecture.
The day Lieutenant Pucillo was injured was the day he made the conscious decision to embark on a long journey to take back his life. As he describes it, there are things in life we can control and things we cannot control. Separating out those two and focusing on the controllable is a personal choice, albeit a hard one.
The Navy Memorial is hosting an exhibit highlighting the Navy’s EOD community. It will be on display through 2011.
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