WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - A Wichita Falls man, who fought for his life on and off the battlefield, is this week's Hero of Texoma.
Richard Mooney came from a military family and knew serving our country was something he wanted to do.
"I enlisted in the delayed entry program June of 1977, just before I turned 17. A couple weeks later I was in Fort Jackson, knocking out those pushups," Mooney said.
His father served 40 years in the U.S. Army and Mooney wanted to do the same.
"I love my country. I love taking part in activities that enhance our security," he said.
His military career took him all over the country and overseas.
He spent time in South Carolina, Virginia, Alabama, California, and Germany. While serving a tour in Germany, Mooney was seriously injured in a helicopter crash.
"I almost lost my right arm so I was not able to effectively perform in that mission any longer. So I transitioned to flight operations and that's the position I held until 1983," he said.
Unfortunately, that was not the last time Sergeant Mooney would fight for his life. On Labor Day 1983, a drunk driver ran a stop sign and hit Mooney, who was driving his motorcycle.
"(It put) me in a coma for a month and the hospital for a year," he said.
He was placed on temporary disability retirement to see if he would improve.
"Unfortunately, at that time my neurological and sociological abilities were severely impaired so they decided to retire me," he said.
In 1986 the U.S. Army retired Mooney at his current rank of Sergeant. Although his time to serve our country was cut short, he is proud of the time he was able to give.
"I'm basically your red-blooded patriot," he said.
A hero in more ways than one, Mooney was shot twice while living in New York while trying to keep a man from being beaten to death.
Those experiences left him physically and mentally wounded so he turned to martial arts. This is something he had been practicing since the age of 10.
Mooney said martial arts keeps him calm, physically fit and mentally clear and the age of 56.
If someone you know is deserving of this recognition, let us know. Send us your nomination to News@KAUZ.com. Include your contact information and any photos you may have. We will get in touch with you for further opportunities.
Samantha Forester, NewsChannel 6