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Local News

New Lenox to host 'Israel Del Toro' day for disabled veteran

Israel Del Toro
Israel Del Toro

The Village of New Lenox will host “Israel Del Toro” day on Sunday, September 3.

There will be a short parade with New Lenox Mayor Timothy Baldermann and rally for Del Toro who is a graduate of Providence Catholic High School in New Lenox and a Master Sergeant in the U.S. Air Force.

Del Toro was seriously injured in Afghanistan from a pressure-plate mine which exploded when his Humvee rolled over it in 2005. He got third-degree burns on over 80 percent of his body and lost most of his fingers and some vital muscles. He was in a coma for nearly three months and given a 15 percent chance of living.

He was told after he woke up from the coma he might never walk or breathe on his own again. After undergoing more than 100 surgeries, he became the first airman to re-enlist in 2010 after becoming eligible for medical retirement with a 100 percent disability rating.

Del Toro took on adaptive sports during his rehabilitation and participated in the 2016 Invictus Games where he set a world record in shot put, discus and javelin and won a gold medal. The Invictus Games is a competition for wounded servicemen and women. Besides still serving in the military, he trained for and participated in the 2017 Warrior Games in Chicago as a member of the World Class Athlete program.

He was awarded a Purple Heart and Army Commendation Medal and the Pat Tillman Award for Services from ESPN at this year's ESPY awards in July. The comedian and former host of The Daily Show Jon Stewart presented him with the award.

The event will take place at 10 a.m. at the New Lenox Commons located at 1 Veterans Parkway. Del Toro will take photos with attendees after the rally.

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