A Patriot’s Promise: Protecting My Brothers, Fighting for My Life, and Keeping My Word

An inspiring memoir of promises kept, overcoming obstacles, and what it means to sacrifice for others, written by a Special Warfare Operator with the US Air Force.

When Israel “DT” Del Toro, Jr.’s Humvee rolled over a roadside improvised explosive device in Afghanistan, he had one thought as he lost consciousness: I have to keep the promise I made to my dad. DT was orphaned at the age of fourteen, and on the night before his father died, he repeated the promise his dad had required of him: “Take care of your brothers and sisters.”

Throughout his childhood and into adulthood, DT indeed looked after his younger brother and sisters, even to his own detriment and sacrifice. When he enlisted in the Air Force, progressing in ranks as a skilled marksman calling airstrikes, his promise extended to his brothers and sisters in the Air Force―his fellow soldiers and brothers-in-arms.

When DT was injured in action, he lay in a coma for three months with third-degree burns on 80 percent of his body. He nearly died three times, and doctors predicted―if he survived―he would forever breathe with a respirator and never walk again. DT pushed through every limit to his full recovery, and he became the first 100 percent disabled veteran to reenlist in the Air Force.

DT’s promise to his dad extends now to his fellow wounded warriors throughout the world as he advocates for awareness and affecting change in public policy for wounded, injured, and ill soldiers. He is a patriot who has kept his promise and changed the world with the spirit of his heart, soul, body, and mind.