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After suffering life-altering injuries in Afghanistan, Marine Staff Sgt. Mark Burleson finds inspiration in a new program for kids, Patriot League.


The program promotes patriotism and community service among America’s youth through classroom involvement, lesson plans, and fun activities.

Promoting patriotism among kids is something that is important to Staff Sgt. Burleson.

“So much of the great lessons of our country have been taken out of the curriculum,” Staff Sgt. Burleson told Fox News. “It’s time to reintroduce some of the patriotic themes. Make connections with children and help them connect to history.”

While disarming an IED in Afghanistan in 2011, the Purple Heart recipient lost both of his arms, his left eye, broke his neck and suffered severe facial disfigurements and internal trauma.

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He said coping with the loss of who he was as a soldier was extremely difficult as was overcoming losing the physical aspects of who he was. He admits it is still a “daily struggle” to stay positive and fend off reoccurring depression but he often thinks of the advice a friend gave him during his lengthy hospital stay.

“It doesn’t matter how bad yesterday was or how bad the day before was. You have today. Today came with an opportunity to make tomorrow better. Better for you and those around you.”

Now that’s some good advice, and one brave soldier, not only for the sacrifice he made for his country but also for his continued effort to reach out.