Name: Corporal Scott Mitchell
Branch of Service: Marines
Deployment: Fallujah, Iraq & Afghanistan
Wish: Skate on the ice with NHL Star Sidney Crosby
of Goal Raised
Scott Mitchell, works at Veteran's Leadership Program of Western Pennsylvania as a Housing Case Manager -helping homeless Veterans to get off the streets and into safe and affordable housing. Scott served in the U.S. Marines from 2004 to 2009, including two deployments (Iraq and Afghanistan). Scott was injured in Iraq during an attack on his unit in Fallujah when a suicide bomber detonated a bomb, which was in the back of a dump truck that drove into the building where Scott was on watch on the roof. His unit was returning fire from insurgents who were attacking the unit with sniper fire. Scott was blown off the roof as the result of the suicide bomber's attack and woke up in Fallujah surgical with 3rd degree burns on the right side of his body (foot to head) and a concussion. Scott received the Purple Heart. He was later diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury. He stayed in hospital for one month recuperating from the burns before he returned to his unit in Fallujah.
During the rest of Scott’s seven month deployment, he was injured 10 different times as a result of IEDs exploding and hitting him. He served as the First Turret Gunner in his truck, which was always first in the convoy and the first to be hit by IEDs. These injuries were concussion based. In 2006, Scott returned from his deployment to Iraq and was stationed at Camp Lejeune. He was stateside for 6 months before being deployed to Afghanistan, where he served for another 8 months in various locations. He returned home at the end of 2008, separated from service as Corporal in 2009, and enrolled in California University, where he graduated in December 2013 with a degree in Psychology.
Scott, who is now 29, works every day assisting Veterans who are homeless or at risk of being homeless. He is dedicated – going above and beyond to serve his clients, incredibly humble about his service and sacrifice. Scott has said that he wants to help Veterans because he has seen the terrible results of combat PTSD in the men that he commanded. He has also recognized the need to help Veterans as they make the difficult transition home. He has applied to pursue his Masters degree in Military Social Work at University of Southern California.
Scott is a huge fan of the Pittsburgh Penguins hockey team, which plays in the NHL. He has always wanted to meet the team's all-star player, Sidney Crosby. Scott said, "Wouldn't it be awesome if, when I'm better, I could skate with Sidney at the arena?!"
Being able to meet Sidney Crosby on the ice would be a big time moral booster! Life can get pretty tough when dealing with combat related injuries/symptoms. Scott feels that hockey players have a strong character and exhibit a level of respect out on the ice. He feels that those personal qualities are extremely similar to what he experienced from the other Marines in his unit. He feels that having the chance to meet and skate with his hockey idol, Sidney Crosby, will allow him to interact with one of the greatest NHL players of all time!