PA-17: Sean Parnell (R)
Army Ranger, combat infantryman with the elite 10th Mountain Division, and veteran of 485 days of fierce fighting along the Afghan-Pakistan border, Captain Sean Parnell’s unique leadership skills, welded his platoon into an effective American fighting unit. Repeatedly outnumbered and outgunned by a foe whose avowed purpose was to overrun his platoon, his “Outlaws” battled in one of the most rugged terrains on the planet—the towering Hindu Kush Mountains. Eighty-five percent of his platoon received Purple Hearts for wounds incurred in battle. Outlaw Platoon killed over 350 enemy fighters in some of the biggest firefights of the Afghan War. His platoon remains one of the most decorated Army units since 9-11.
After the battle, Parnell continued to suffer from untreated head and neurological wounds. His dedication to his men came at great personal cost: when he returned home following the deployment, his wounds forced him from the army, and he was medically discharged.
He retired a highly decorated Captain and was awarded two Bronze Stars, one for Valor, and the Purple Heart.
Since leaving the Army, he has penned the New York Times best-selling book, Outlaw Platoon, which is the story of his platoon’s crucible of combat in Eastern Afghanistan. He is a subject matter expert on Afghanistan, the insurgency there, leadership, and how to use it to inspire and motivate men and women to achieve common objectives.
As co-founder of the American Warrior Initiative, an organization that inspires people to give back to our nation’s veterans, Parnell has quietly become one of America’s most influential advocates for our military. He worked to pass the Veterans’ Access to Care through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act of 2014, which later became the Mission Act and signed by the president, as well as helping to get the VA Accountability Act passed out of the U.S. House of Representatives, in 2015.
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