Damon R. Suiter, Sergeant, US Army (ret)
Veterans Charity Ride to Sturgis 2017 Mentor
“I’m excited to be returning to the Veterans Charity Ride to Sturgis 2017, to give back and help other veterans. My experience from Veterans Charity Ride to Sturgis 2016, and the help I have received since the ride have been a huge help in my life. I am glad to get the opportunity to give back to a great group of people, and to an organization that has given me so much.”
On September 11, 2001 Damon was working as a landscaper in Gaylord Michigan. The attack on our nation led him to enter the Army National Guard in Michigan. His family has served during every conflict this nation has had back to the Revolution. He followed in service as his father did in Vietnam, his grandfather in World War II and his great – great uncle Clyde did in World War I. A family ancestor, Joseph Suiter served as a Lieutenant in the Mexican War and as a Lt. Colonel in the Civil War. So it was the family business and something he was planning on doing – along with law enforcement.
Damon entered military service October 2001 following the national tragedy of 9/11 and served two tours of duty overseas. Following basic training he was assigned to the 125th Infantry, Michigan Army National Guard in Alpena Michigan. Concurrently he began service with the Ogemaw County Sheriff’s Office, Corrections Division. He later became the Sheriff’s Office Animal Control Officer. Damon was scheduled to attend the Police Academy and become a certified law enforcement officer upon his return from Iraq. This would have allowed him to serve in the criminal justice system with three certifications. (He had also attended one Homeland Security Course at the Center for Domestic Preparedness in Anniston Alabama as a first responder for terrorist acts.)
Damon’s first tour was with the Multi-National Force and Observers in the Sinai Peninsula in 2003 as an 11B Infantryman. He was retrained as an 88M Wheeled Vehicle Operator and served in Iraq 2006 – 2007 as a Heavy Equipment Transport Operator with the 1461st CBT HET out of Jackson Michigan. He was wounded in action January 13, 2007 in an ambush in Mosul Iraq – MSR Tampa and subsequently evacuated to the Military Medical Hospital in Landstuhl Germany with a traumatic brain injury. Following stabilizing treatment at Landstuhl he was evacuated to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington D.C. Following a long period of treatment, Damon was medically retired from the U.S. Army due to wounds incurred in action. He has been awarded a Purple Heart and Combat Action Badge, and other decorations.
Damon is now retired from the U.S. Army and was unable to continue his law enforcement career due to the wounds he received in Iraq. He now continues in treatment and work with other veterans providing them with support. His father helps a lot with that effort. Damon enjoys his two sons, and his German Shepherd Jasper.
Since joining the Veterans Charity Ride to Sturgis 2016, Damon’s enthusiasm has been contagious, making him a welcome and sure to be lifelong member of the Veterans Charity Ride (VCR) Family. He is returning as a Veterans Charity Ride to Sturgis 2017 Transportation Manager and Mentor, and has participated in the VCR Year Round Well Vet Program,
“What appealed to me about the Well Vet Program was making a positive change…I have had headaches in one form or another for the past ten years. After the third day of doing this program I didn’t have a headache…I have wanted to lose weight for a long time and get healthy again, and coming here it just looked like the perfect start… My favorite part of Well Vet has been the camaraderie. The friendships, the mutual support.”