It has been said that all men are created equal. If you have spent any time in uniform, then you know that just simply isn't true. Some of us are just better, faster, smarter, stronger individuals.
Such is the case with August O'Neil. Not only is he one of the world's elite as an Air Force Pararescueman, he has multiple gold medals from multiple international events that he won after he lost a limb in Afghanistan.
His life is the stuff that movies are made about, literally. Here are the top five reasons you should know August O'Neil.
5. Well, he's literally an operator
August O'Neil joined the Air Force in 2005 and graduated from his pipeline training in 2008. If you aren't aware of the level of elite physical ability and mental capacity you need to become a PJ, here's a quick rundown:
First, you have to pass what was once known as the Indoctrination Course. Indoc alone has a fail rate north of 80% and that is just the door to get through to more training. That 'more training' equates to literal years spent learning the job.
It doesn't get much more operator than August O'Neil... It just doesn't. (Photo by Matthew J. DeVirgilio)
4. First amputee to return to USAF
After suffering such an injury, many of us would go to some dark places. O'Neil has made it his complete life's mission to get back to his team.
As of late 2017, he was medically cleared and re-certified on many of his required tasks. O'Neil will likely be the first amputee ever to return to active duty in the Air Force.
Just about back to a new normal (Photo by Taylor Curry)
3. Warrior Games
O'Neil reportedly kept his injured leg just so he could compete at the Warrior Games. He ended up winning 5 golds in various swimming events.
Yes, that's correct. With one functional leg and the other having been through 20 surgeries, he won five different medals.
For added sh*ts and giggles, O'Neil also won gold for Kayaking at the Valor Games in 2013.
Kai has really been man's best friend to O'Neil. (Photo by Senior Airman Justyn M. Freeman)
2. Invictus Games
The Invictus games are right up there with the Paralympic Games and were created by Prince Harry. They are coming up on their third games this year and you can be certain that amazing things will happen there, too.
The games are aimed directly at the global injured veteran community, so it should be no surprise that O'Neil participates.
Just before the opening moments at the Invictus Games in 2016 (Photo by Joshua L. DeMotts)
1. Immortalized in film
A feature film, That Others May Live, about O'Neil's life from the moment he was injured to the present, has begun to gain some real traction. It is currently in pre-production with Paramount Pictures attached.
The proposed film will chronicle O'Neil's life following the incident (Photo by Krista Rose)