October 23, 2014


Written by derekherrera

A lot has happened since I last wrote.   I would have preferred to keep the blog up to date but have had to prioritize other things.

Recently, Maura and I have done different media events including The Doctors, CNBC with Sue Herera, Bloomberg’s Taking Stock with Pimm Fox, the Delaware State News, a Veteran’s Radio interview I did with another Marine named Yinon Weiss, Task and Purpose: Job Envy series, and a Yahoo Finance article that was featured a few weeks ago.  Most of these interviews center around the ReWalk and I had the opportunity to attend the Initial Public Offering ceremony for ReWalk on the NASDAQ stock exchange.  It was an incredible event and I had a lot of fun.

CEO Larry Jasinski ReWalk Sue Herera Captain Derek Herrera @2x

One of the most interesting things that happened was walking around Times Square. While walking around in the ReWalk, no one asked me if I was paralyzed.  More than a few asked me if I was an actor, and a couple asked why there were empty wheelchairs around.  At first, this seemed a bit insensitive but then I realized how awesome it is that the average person on the street had no idea I was completely paralyzed from the chest down.  This was an incredible moment.

I got to speak with Yinon Weiss, who runs a social networking site for Veterans called RallyPoint, and Zach Iscol, who runs a website called HirePurpose that connects businesses with Veterans who have specific skills and assists with the transition process. These guys are pretty incredible and it was awesome to get to meet other Marines who have started and grown successful businesses that help Veterans and advocate for their cause. I would be thrilled if I can take RuckPack to the levels that these men have grown their businesses to.

I met some incredible candidates that have applied for work with RuckPack and plan to make some key hires in the next month or two. Getting to meet and screen other people to come work for RuckPack has been one of the most important things I have invested time into over the past few months. I firmly believe that the people I hire at this stage will significantly affect the future of our growth and I feel very lucky to have had such incredible applicants.

Maura and I moved into the new house! It has been retrofitted with all of the necessary modifications required to be wheelchair accessible and there are a lot of organizations that we have to thank for supporting the construction efforts. Maura and I would like to thank Paul Hoffecker and Renovating Hope, The Home Depot, the Local Elevators Union (Lift for a Vet), Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund, and the MARSOC Foundation. They all pitched in to get the work we needed done and take a huge burden off of Maura and I, allowing us to focus on other things we had going on.

I had the pleasure of meeting Major General Giora Romm, a retired Israeli Fighter Pilot who just wrote a book about his experience as a POW in Egypt.  The book is called Solitary and is being published in the USA by Steven Pressfield, a former Marine who wrote Gates of Fire and The Legend of Bagger Vance as well as many other well-known titles.  He is almost legendary in the Marine Corps since Gates of Fire is pretty much required reading for any young Marine leaders.  They spoke at the UCLA Anderson School of Management a couple of weeks ago and I was incredibly happy to attend.

Captain Derek Herrera Steven Pressfield Major General Giora Romm at UCLA @2x

I completed the Long Beach Marathon two weeks ago. It was a great course, but started so early that it was really dark, which may have contributed to me crashing once, riding into the beach once, and missing a couple of turns where the course was poorly marked and the race started at 5:50 AM. It was still a lot of fun and I finished without injury or any flat tires with a decent time so it turned out well. Last night I took the redeye flight to Washington DC for the Marine Corps Marathon this Sunday. I am really looking forward to the event and seeing all of the other MARSOC Foundation team members here this weekend.

Captain Derek Herrera Long Beach Marathon Hand Cycle @2x