WWE issued the following press release:
STAMFORD, Conn. — SoldierSocks, a non-profit foundation focused on helping veterans, announced today that their ambassador Dan Rose, a veteran living with paralysis, will be a special guest at WWE’s SmackDown in Albany, N.Y., on Nov. 4. The SmackDown episode will air Friday, Nov. 7 at 8 p.m. ET on Syfy.
Dan Rose was in the Army Reserves for 10 years and served in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in the Zahri District and Horn of Panjiwae in the Kandahar Province of Afghanistan until he was injured by an Improvised Explosive Device on April 27, 2011. The blast was estimated to have come from approximately 1,000 lbs. of explosives and he was left paralyzed from the chest down. Dan teamed up with SoldierSocks, who provided him with the Ekso Bionics GT™ robotic exoskeleton, which enables individuals with any amount of lower extremity weakness or paralysis to stand up and walk.
“The first time I stood up and looked across the room, it was like reaching the summit of a mountain and looking down on the world,” SGT Rose says. “I’m so grateful for my partnership with SoldierSocks and as a WWE fan, I’m looking forward to sharing my story at SmackDown.”
SoldierSocks co-founder Chris Meek speaks to the importance of raising awareness for wounded veterans.
“Every day, members of the military put their lives on the line to help protect our country,” SoldierSocks co-founder Chris Meek says. “When they return home, they are faced with the challenges of re-acclimating to civilian life. Additionally, some have been critically wounded or paralyzed in the line of duty. We are honored to be raising awareness with partners such as WWE to help wounded veterans stand strong in the face of adversity.”
WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon is excited to have Sergeant Rose at SmackDown.
“WWE has a longstanding commitment to the military and we are extremely grateful for the sacrifices of our nation’s heroes,” McMahon says. “We are proud to host Sergeant Rose as our special guest at SmackDown and humbled by his perseverance and will to push through any obstacle that he faces.”
Ekso Bionics designs, develops and commercializes exoskeletons, or wearable robots, which have a variety of applications in the medical, military, industrial, and consumer markets. Exoskeletons are ready-to-wear, battery-powered robots that are strapped over the user’s clothing, enabling individuals to achieve mobility, strength, and endurance not otherwise possible. Ekso has redefined rehabilitation for people living with the consequences of stroke, spinal cord injury and other neurological conditions affecting gait.
With nearly 800 original episodes, SmackDown is the second longest-running weekly episodic program in U.S. television history, behind only WWE’s other flagship program, Monday Night Raw. Averaging 3.1 million viewers each week, SmackDown beats all Friday primetime viewing on any cable network.
SoldierSocks was founded in 2009 to provide basic necessities such as baby wipes, socks and sunscreen to American soldiers fighting for our country in the trenches of Afghanistan and Iraq. As more of our soldiers return home to the U.S., SoldierSocks continues to assist our nation's heroes in re-acclimating to civilian life by offering scholarships for colleges and trade schools and offering paralyzed soldiers an opportunity to gain mobility outside of a wheelchair.
To support SoldierSocks their efforts to provide services to veterans across the United States, please visit SoldierSocks.org.