Hometown Hero 10/23/2008: Brian Gallagher

Brian Gallagher
October 29, 2008 2:27:50 PM PDT
As a former Marine corporal who served during Operation Enduring Freedom in Somalia, Hometown Hero Brian Gallagher has been a selfless champion for his fellow soldiers and has made it his mission to bring greater awareness and attention to the organization, Coalition to Salute America's Heroes, which provides assistance to veterans across the nation who have been disabled or severely wounded in Operation Enduring Freedom or Operation Iraqi Freedom. Brian Gallagher's campaign to make a difference and help out others in need began after he heard a radio report about an explosion overseas that had injured two U.S. Marines. Spurred to action, Brian set out on a 27-mile march, dubbed "Rock to West," from his Thiells home to Ossining, headed for the headquarters of The Coalition to Salute America's Heroes, and single-handedly raised over $20,000 in sponsorship for disabled Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom veterans living in his area

Brian Gallagher dedicated this "Rock to West" march to Cpl. Jason Dunham, whose widely reported act of courage saved the lives of two of his fellow Marines but caused him to lose his own. Marine Cpl. Jason L. Dunham was post-humously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his selfless actions in Iraq. Cpl. Dunham was leading a patrol in Iraq in 2004 when his unit was attacked. An enemy grenade was tossed into his unit's position, and in an effort to save his men, Cpl. Dunham threw himself on the grenade, absorbing the explosion with his body. He died of his injuries a few days later, but his courageous actions saved the lives of two of his fellow Marines. During the march, Brian carried the unit guidon of Cpl. Dunham in honor of his memory. At the 24th mile, Gallagher was joined by other Marines who would run the final three miles with him. Upon arrival at the coalition headquarters, Gallagher presented a $10,000 check from the funds he had raised to Chris Ryan whose son, U.S. Marine Sgt. Eddie Ryan, was severely injured in Iraq to be put towards Sgt. Ryan's ongoing rehabilitation. Brian Gallagher's campaign to help his fellow solders continues with his plans to organize an Annual Dunham Run to benefit the Cpl. Jason Dunham Scholarship Foundation.

Although the march's slogan was "One Man, One Cause," it is evident that Brian Gallagher is more than just an ordinary man. He is a true Hometown Hero.


* Meet all the Hometown Heroes

* Learn more about the Intrepid

* Sponsored by the Visiting Nurse Service of New York and Bank of America