Sergeant Jason Simms has exemplified perseverance and selflessness throughout his career in the Marines, as well as in his home life. After surviving a violent attack in Iraq, in which his vehicle was hit by an IED (improvised explosive device) leaving him critically injured, Simms had to medically retire in April of 2008.
He took this challenge as an opportunity to overcome, fighting each day for his recovery and remembering the ultimate sacrifices of his fellow marines. Despite the pain he endures daily, Simms refuses to complain or harbor resentment; a trait his wife Alana Simms believes makes him a true hero.
"This year's American Hero of the Year received many deserving nominations, but Sergeant Jason Simms' selfless dedication and perseverance were recognized amongst the public voters," said Matthew McCartin, head of marketing for Dickies. "We're pleased to name him Dickies American Hero of the Year and honor his service to our country."
Nominated by his wife for his courage and heroism, Simms now works with the Navy's Human Resource Service Center (HRSC) and the Wounded Warrior Program to help injured veterans like himself find employment after they return from service.
While Simms misses the Marine Corps deeply, he is now able to travel and share his story of loss and recovery with his military brothers and sisters in the Wounded Warrior Program. After enduring more than 20 painful surgeries and learning to walk again, Simms serves as an inspiration to his wife and children, as well as the veterans he works with every day.
Dickies and the Exchange will award Jason Simms $25,000 in recognition of being named American Hero of the Year as well as his outstanding service to his country.
"There are so many American heroes still fighting at home and abroad and I would not be where I am today without their continued sacrifices," said Simms. "I am deeply honored for this special recognition from my wife and family, as well as Dickies, the Exchange and everyone that voted."
Now in its second year as the American Hero of the Year Award, this program is made possible by the support of Dickies and the Exchange to help to pay homage to the U.S. military and their families. Dickies previously hosted the American Worker of the Year Contest until the program partnered with the Exchange last year to create the American Hero of the Year Contest.
Dickies fans and Exchange customers were called on to nominate current or retired members of the United States military or family members of US military servicemen and women who portray the qualities they believe exemplifies an American Hero.
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