Rooster's Story

Army Veteran

Initiallly Denny enlisted in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard 1993, serving for seven years as a M1 Armor crewman. Showing his competance and potential, he quickly rose to serve as a gunner. Upon promotion to Sergeant, Denny wanted to serve full time. In 2000, he was selected and hired as an AGR Recruiting and Retention NCO, assigned to support the same unit he had served in. Standing 45 miles away from where Flight 93 crashed, Denny knew that he would not be content to sit behind a desk while the nation was at war. In 2002, he transferred to the Army, reclassing as a Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear NCO. Denny deployed in support of the Invasion of Iraq in 2003 and again from 2005-2006 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He also served in Operation Tomodachi, supporting the relief efforts in Japan in 2011. In 2012, Denny was medically discharged due to non-combat related injuries incurred in a 19 year military career.

Veteran Advocate

Struggling with finding purpose and identity in his post-military life, Denny discoved that he had a passion in helping his fellow Veterans. This started with giving back to the organization that helped him find life after the trauma, the Cpl. Chad E. Oligschlaeger Foundation for PTSD. In 2016, he formed O.P. Veteran after hosting the inaugural Vet Fest Austin. As both he and the organization matured and grew, O.P. Veteran focused on easing the trials of emotional transition. Denny drove the organization to grow year after year, refining the Spring Kickoff, the Flag Day Freedom Float, the Garrison Retreat, and the marquee O.P. VetFest. O.P. Veteran is an organization that focuses it's services in social connection, community, and mental health. In mid 2022, due to ongoing health issues, Denny stepped down from the organization, to focus on health and family.

Malrotation Warrior

In 2019, Denny was diagnosed with a life threatening birth defect called an intestinal malrotation. Weeks before O.P. VetFest IV, Denny underwent a Ladd's procedure. Since that time, has fought this condition every step of the way. After three more surgeries, the last of which, a highly invasive intestinal resection surgery conducted at the Cleveland Clinic in 2021, Denny continues to contend with chronic pain and other related issues. He focuses on his skills in resiliency and takes inspiration from his wife and son.

Family Man

Denny gains much of the strength and inspiration for what he does from his family. His wife Celeste and son Christopher have helped him to percevere on through the trials he has faced.