EXCELSIOR, Minn. - There was little question that Corporal Tony Mullis was going to join the military after high school.
“My mom was in the Air Force and dad. Grandfather in the Army. I had an uncle in the Navy but no one in the Marine Corps. So I joined the Marines,”said Mullis.
Mullis is from Georgia and served two deployments in Afghanistan. On his second in 2011 an improvised explosive device or IED exploded just after he had spotted some wires while clearing out an area near a building. “I was thrown to the roof of this house. There was nothing but ringing. I heard yelling and my name being called out. That’s my first memory.”
Mullis was airlifted from the field. He lost both of his legs and need several surgeries to repair part of his arm and lower extremities.
After recovery Mullis met Dave Deep also a Marine veteran who started 'Wake For Warriors' a wake surfing and wake boarding group which helps wounded veterans.
Deep did four tours in Afghanistan as a pilot. “I saw what was going on first hand and what we had to deal with,” Deep says. “The way I dealt with it was exercising. My sport was wake boarding so I thought why not share that with others and help them.”
Wake For Warriors is a group based in Georgia but is in Minnesota this week in partnership with the Minnesota Wake surf Championship which has an adapted division for amputees.
“Being out on the water you kind of let everything go,” Mullis said. “It’s awesome to be with people who may have similar experiences and push yourself to do something you might not otherwise do.”