LONGPORT – American Legion Post 469 has announced the recipient of its eighth annual Wounded Warrior Week honor being held this September in Longport.
The Legion has arranged for U.S. Navy SEAL (Special Operator First Class) Joe Hahn and his family to enjoy a one-week all-expense-paid vacation at a luxurious Longport beach-block home. Dinners, recreation, fishing trips and a special dinner with Legionnaires have been arranged.
Unable to fully recover from injuries that shattered his legs in two separate explosions, along with traumatic brain injuries from nearby explosions while on active duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, he was medically retired in 2017.
Hahn, who was born in Texas but now lives in Oklahoma, was pursuing a degree in biomedical science at Texas A&M University when the 9/11 attacks occurred. He enlisted and spent 13 years as a U.S. Navy SEAL. He was trained in basic underwater demolition and was deployed multiple times in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
In 2009, Hahn completed rigorous training for the Naval Special Warfare Development Group and was deployed three times to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and to other undisclosed locations worldwide. During these deployments, he was involved in hundreds of missions targeting the top terrorists worldwide.
He also provided personal security details for U.S. generals, elected officials and foreign dignitaries, and developed and coordinated training for foreign special forces units.
During two separate missions, Hahn was catastrophically injured, shattering his left and right legs individually. Each injury required several surgeries and 10 months of recovery time before he was able to return to his unit. After two more deployments, the extent of his injuries required more surgeries and rehabilitation.
He has been multiply decorated and is the recipient of the Purple Heart, Joint Meritorious Service Medal and Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal, among others.
Hahn currently provides training, personal security and consulting services while he continues to pursue his degree. He enjoys shooting, fishing, hunting, scuba diving and is currently teaching himself how to play guitar.
Hahn, his wife Morgan and four sons, Hunter, 12, Blake, 5, Clayton, 3, and Gunner, 18 months, will be traveling from Oklahoma to enjoy their Wounded Warrior Week vacation, which has been fully funded by the Legion, local businesses and residents of Longport.
Legion members will greet the family at Philadelphia International Airport, Tuesday, Sept. 10 and transport them by local Jitney service to the Ventnor Plaza shopping center, where they will be greeted and transferred to a white convertible stretch limousine for a welcoming surprise parade through Downbeach communities to their home-away-from-home. Ventnor, Margate and Longport Police and Fire departments and a contingent of the American Legion Riders on their Harley motorcycles will escort the Hahn family to their beach-block residence, which has been graciously provided for their use by a local Longport property owner.
The motorcade will begin at 5:30 p.m., travel on Dorset Avenue to Atlantic Avenue and then down to Longport.
The Legion is encouraging all residents to line the parade route starting at 5:30 p.m. to cheer for the Hahn family and thank them for their service and sacrifices. Hand-made welcome and thank you signs and American flags are encouraged.