United States Army Sergeant First Class Dustin Magner was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and raised in rural northeast Oklahoma, attending middle and high school in Prue, Oklahoma. He describes his childhood as one of freedom in the outdoors, loving to hunt, fish, and explore. He also loved to collect baseball cards and be an active participant in any sport that was being played around him. Magner was the third child out of four, and after his parents divorced, he lived with his mother full-time. In 1999, Magner and his future wife, Rebecca, met in north Georgia while they were both designated drivers for a party. They ended up playing spades together and shared an instant spark.

Magner was born with the drive of wanting to join the U.S. Army. He joined the Army’s delayed entry program in the summer of 1995 and later signed up for Airborne Infantry. In July of 1996, he left for basic training. Magner’s favorite part about being in the Army was developing future leaders. Throughout his honorable career, Magner served at 5th RTB, 1/501 PIR, 2/87 INF, and 10th Mountain Division, as well as attended Ranger School in 1998. He became a Jumpmaster in 2001 and served as a squad leader during OEF 10 in 2009. On June 1, 2009, while serving in Iraq, Magner’s platoon was reacting to a sister platoon in combat. While en route, his vehicle struck an IED. The injuries that he sustained include a spinous process and burst fractures in his spine from T4-T5. Magner is completely paralyzed at the T4 level. His recovery had been rough at first, but he recovered his strength quickly. He would like to thank his children, James, Mike, Maia, and his sister, Amber Wheeler, for being his main support system since his horrible accident.

Currently, Magner loves to read and weight train. He hopes to involve himself in his community more in the future. He is also excited to move on to the next chapter of his life, both in business and in leisure. Tunnel to Towers Foundation is gifting Magner with a personalized smart home to meet his individualistic needs. He is grateful to be able to achieve the dream of building a smart and accessible home without taking on new debt. United States Army Sergeant First Class Dustin Magner would like fellow veterans to know to seek help if you find yourself struggling. There are many organizations that are willing and able to assist you through whatever problems you have.