Master Sergeant Israel Del Toro
US Air Force
When his Humvee hit a bomb in 2005, Master Sgt. Israel Del Toro suffered third-degree burns over 80 percent of his body and lost most of his fingers. He was given a 15 percent chance of survival, was in a coma for nearly three months, and when he woke up, was told he might never walk or breathe without a respirator again.
Del Toro went on to undergo more than 100 surgeries, and in 2010 became the first 100% disabled airman ever to reenlist in the Air Force. He continues to serve today on active duty as a TACP instructor in the United States Air Force. Del Toro also became a Paralympic athlete, setting world records in shot put, discus and javelin, and won a gold medal at the Invictus Games 2016.
On July 12, 2017 Del Toro received the Pat Tillman Award for Service at the 25th Annual ESPY Awards. The Pat Tillman Foundation established the award in 2014 to commemorate the football player who left the NFL to become an Army Ranger after the Sept. 11 attacks.