United States Army Sergeant Major E9 Saheed Hamid was born in Georgetown, Guyana. He is the oldest of three sons to parents who were skilled tailors. However, dreaming of more for their boys, the family decided to immigrate to the United States. At the age of 15, his family moved to Queens, New York City and Hamid became a naturalized United States citizen. He attended two high schools in New York, Newtown and Aviation, which spurred his lifelong interests in science, technology, and aviation. Additionally, he liked shooting sports, skiing, hunting, traveling, and learning languages. Hamid and his wife, Melissa, met while he was stationed as an active duty Green Beret with 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Ft. Carson in Colorado. Having met later in life, the couple have no children but have been together for over 25 years. They enjoy spending time together on their quiet, small farm in Central Texas.

After seeing how hard his father worked for the American Dream and to send him to college, Hamid decided to enlist in the US Army on April 27, 1984 to be able to pay for college on his own, allowing his father to focus on sending his younger siblings off instead. While serving as a Special Forces Operator, Hamid completed a dual Bachelor of Science in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from New York Institute of Technology, as well as a Master of Science in Aeronautical Science from Embry-Riddle, and then a Ph.D. in Systems Engineering from The George Washington University. Because of his lifelong interest in history and a desire to teach at the college level, he later completed a second Masters degree in History from George Mason University, fulfilling more than his parents could have hoped for in pursuing his education in the United States. Over the last four decades of continuous Active Duty and Reserve Army service, Hamid served combat deployments in the Balkan Wars, Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, and Operation Iraqi Freedom, all with US Army Green Berets, US Special Operations Command, US Army Special Operations Command, Army Cyber Command, and various other special unit assignments. After completing active duty, Hamid worked as a Federal Air Marshal and later graduated from the Sheriff’s Academy to become a POST-certified Reserve Sheriff’s Deputy and law enforcement firearms tactical instructor for many years in Colorado. He later retired from his civilian career working as the Lead Systems Engineer for DHS/TSA, designing the checked baggage explosive detection systems for airports nationwide.

Hamid loved the sense of camaraderie that is generated when like-minded, elite-trained individuals face difficult things. Additionally, Hamid excelled in the challenging environments that test one’s physical and mental abilities. His intention with serving was never to give back. Rather, he was motivated to serve and protect his nation because he is uniquely equipped, mentally tough, and strong enough to do so; a desire to ensure what he and others have fought and sacrificed for since the nation’s founding remain protected. Hamid is the epitome of being an immigrant by birth, but an American by choice. Hamid was unfortunately diagnosed with Sarcoidosis, attributed to burn pit exposure during his multiple post-9/11 deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq. The disease targeted his heart first, which is very rare. Because he was not properly diagnosed when his symptoms began, it spread from his heart to his lungs, kidneys, lymphatic system, gastro system, liver, spleen, and other abdominal organs. The damage has unfortunately caused rapid heart failure despite enduring five surgeries since 2018 to implant pacemaker-defibrillator devices and assess the fibrosis the disease is still causing.

Currently, Hamid and his wife reside in Texas. With the help of a Track Chair, he has regained his mobility and independence, allowing him to get around his farm to maintain things, work on cars, and tinker in his workshop. Additionally, he enjoys cooking, hunting, shooting sports, and traveling with his wife. Hamid mentors local college students and enjoys interacting with them as an adjunct professor when his health allows him to teach courses part time. He is also a member of the local American Legion. In the future, he is excited to receive a new biologic treatment from the Cleveland Clinic, which could improve his symptoms and delay the need for a heart transplant. The support of the Tunnel to Towers Foundation has created lasting friendships and made Hamid and Melissa part of a bigger family. Hamid would like to mention and thank his father, Mohamed, who passed away, his mother, Bebe, his brothers, Farouk and Hazrat, his niece and nephew, Selena and Erik, and his wife, Melissa, for being primary supporters throughout his life. Finally, he would like to make it known to others that his service was a choice and the willingness to sacrifice all for a nation is a privilege. Additionally, he would like others to know that the families behind fallen service members matter and he is grateful to supporters of Tunnel to Towers for keeping the Foundation’s mission alive, as well as the donors who made the renovation to his home possible.