WWE issued the following press release:
MILITARY VETERAN DAN ROSE TO BE FEATURED ON
WWE® SMACKDOWN® THIS FRIDAY
WWE AND SOLDIER SOCKS BAND TOGETHER TO HELP VETERANS
GET BACK ON THEIR FEET
STAMFORD, CT – November 4, 2014 – SoldierSocks, a non-profit foundation focused on helping veterans, announced today that their ambassador, Dan Rose, a veteran living with paralysis, will be a special guest at WWE’s SmackDown tonight in Albany, NY. The SmackDown episode will air this Friday, November 7 at 8 PM ET on Syfy.
Dan Rose was in the Army Reserves for 10 years and served in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in the Zahri District and Horn of Panjiwae in the Kandahar Province of Afghanistan until he was injured by an Improvised Explosive Device on April 27, 2011. The blast was estimated to have come from approximately 1,000 pounds of explosives and he was left paralyzed from the chest down (T4). Dan teamed up with SoldierSocks, who provided him with the Ekso Bionics GT™ robotic exoskeleton, which enables individuals with any amount of lower extremity weakness or paralysis to stand up and walk.
“This first time I stood up and looked across the room, it was like reaching the summit of a mountain and looking down on the world,” said SGT Rose. “I’m so grateful for my partnership with SoldierSocks and as a WWE fan, I’m looking forward to sharing my story at SmackDown.”
“Every day, members of the military put their lives on the line to help protect our country,” said SoldierSocks co-founder Chris Meek. “When they return home, they are faced with the challenges of re-acclimating to civilian life. Additionally, some have been critically wounded or paralyzed in the line of duty. We are honored to be raising awareness with partners such as WWE to help wounded veterans stand strong in the face of adversity.”
“WWE has a longstanding commitment to the military and we are extremely grateful for the sacrifices of our nation’s heroes,” said WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon. “We are proud to host Sergeant Rose as our special guest at SmackDown, and humbled by his perseverance and will to push through any obstacle that he faces.”
Ekso Bionics designs, develops, and commercializes exoskeletons, or wearable robots, which have a variety of applications in the medical, military, industrial, and consumer markets. Exoskeletons are ready-to-wear, battery-powered robots that are strapped over the user’s clothing, enabling individuals to achieve mobility, strength, and endurance not otherwise possible. Ekso has redefined rehabilitation for people living with the consequences of stroke, spinal cord injury and other neurological conditions affecting gait.
With nearly 800 original episodes, SmackDown is the second longest-running weekly episodic program in U.S. television history, only behind WWE’s other flagship program, Monday Night Raw®. Averaging 3.1 million viewers each week, SmackDown beats all Friday primetime viewing on any cable network.