The 23-year-old Stafford, VA native joined the Army instead of going directly to college and served a 12-month tour in each country.
In October of 2009, his unit was overrun by hundreds of Taliban soldiers in the eastern mountains of Afghanistan. Outnumbered roughly 5 to 1, The Americans killed 150 Taliban soliders while losing eight of their own.
Rodriguez received the Bronze Star for valor for his acts during the battle, the most harrowing being a reported 300 meter run under heavy fire to replace a fallen soldier holding down the perimeter.
Rodriguez took shrapnel in his legs and neck, as well as a bullet fragment in his shoulder.
He was treated in country and fulfilled his tour of duty. Now healthy and home, he hopes to fulfill his dream to play college football and just might get that shot at his dream school; Virginia Tech.
After publishing his piece on the Washingtonian's website, author Brett Haber forwarded the story to Tech's athletic department and asked them to give it to coach Beamer, fully expecting them to ignore it. He later received this note:
“Brett, I watched the video on Daniel—very impressive! I plan to contact Daniel after our bowl game in January. I hope this story can work out for everyone. Best Wishes! Frank Beamer.”
Here's the really great video below. And here's to hoping Daniel's story comes to a happy conclusion in orange and maroon or some other colors. He'll certainly wear them well.