WAUKESHA -- It can be difficult to hold the attention of a large group of high school students, but for a member of the U.S. military in Waukesha, this was no problem. An Iraq War veteran who serves on the Wounded Warrior Board shared his story with the students Monday, November 26th. In turn, the students shared a gift for the Wounded Warrior Project, in this soldier's honor.
Monday morning, the students at Catholic Memorial High School were riveted by Major Justin Constantine's story as he shared his account of service and sacrifice.
After leaving for active duty in 2004, Constantine became a reservist, and eventually volunteered for duty in Iraq. While on patrol there, he was shot in the head by a sniper. Constantine survived.
"The first surgery at Bethesda Hospital lasted over 18 hours. I know that not all Wounded Warriors are as lucky as I've been in being able to talk as openly about what happened to them," Constantine said.
After sharing his story, Constantine accepted a $15,000 donation from the students -- money that will benefit the Wounded Warrior Program, which helps those who continue to struggle after their service.
"I think it's fantastic. I think it really shows that this community really cares about Wounded Warriors because that's just a really big number for a high school to raise," Constantine said.
The money was raised through a four-day haunted house, organized and operated by Catholic Memorial students.
"I just makes me so much happier to know that it's going to a great cause like the Wounded Warrior Project," Jeremy Campbell said.
Catholic Memorial Senior Caleb Walters said as he waits to learn whether he'll join the Air Force Academy, more important than the money was Constantine's message.
"It just gave me all the more motivation to go through with joining because there are people out there who need help," Walters said.
CLICK HERE for additional information on the Wounded Warrior Project.