Member Profiles

Darrin Snyder

Darrin SnyderObstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it. – Michael Jordan

Darrin Snyder is a United States Marine Corps Disabled Veteran. Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, Snyder currently lives in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

After completing basic training at Parrish Island, South Carolina, Snyder attended Basic Electrician School at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. He then was assigned to Camp Pendelton, Califonia. “I was assigned to 1st FSSG – 1st LSB H&S Co HE Plt. out at Camp DelMar,” he explained. “I was the seventh Electrician in a shop that had six flood light units. Thus I became part of the tool room, supply, pubs and mimms.”

“I have bilateral CMP/ OA with instability,” Snyder reports. “My injury occurred while I was on a training run. My company 1st Sergeant decided we were going to do the run that day on the beach at DelMar. We began the run. At the three mile mark, I felt good. At the five mile mark, I began to feel pain in my knees. At the six mile mark, I stepped down awkwardly and felt my knee twist. I fell to the ground, but being a Marine, I got up and continued to run. When I got done four miles later, plus a nice one mile cool down, my knees were swollen and I could not bend them. I ended up in sick call and was given 1600 mg of Ibuprofen to reduce the swelling. From that moment on, anytime I ran even for a mile, my knees swelled up and I could not walk for hours afterwards. Six months later, I was discharged from the Marine Corps for Chrondromalicia Patella/Osteoarthritis with some instability of both knees.

Since his discharge from the Marines, Snyder has held various positions. Returning to his transplanted home, Virginia, he graduated from Old Dominion University with a Bachelors of Science degree in Exercise Physiology.

“I have worked in low tech as an Emu farmer to high tech at America Online as an Interactive Media Developer,” Snyder said. “I have worked 1,000 feet underground as a coal miner to 25,000 feet above the ground as a flight attendant. All the while, my knees have gotten worse to the point that I now also have to wear knee braces and use a cane for balance and stability.”

Despite the problems with his knees, Snyder remains active in outdoor sports. “I like to swim, bike, wog (Walk/Jog), snowboard, bodyboard, surf, four-wheel, hike, camp, fish, kayak, golf, hunt, play football, baseball, softball, shooting a basketball … but not playing, as that requires too much running. Almost anything and everything outdoor.”

Darrin Snyder and his father

Darrin Snyder (left) and his father (in recumbent) ride in the Warrior Ride 9/11 in Norfolk, Virginia. Photograph and above portrait of Snyder completing the 5K Military Challenge in 2011 courtesy Darrin Snyder.

Snyder reports he has an ongoing “bucket list.” He completed a few in the last year, including:

  • • Completing a Marathon – Marine Corps Marathon at 6:39:10
  • • Biking a century ride – a 100 mile bike ride in the Northern Neck Rhythm and Ride Century
  • • Completing a triathlon – Santa Cruz Sprint Triathlon, including a 750m swim, 30km bike, and 5k Run
  • • Completing a multi day bike ride – a 453 mile bike ride from Santa Cruz to Santa Monica
  • • Completing a five mile Grunt “with my 66 year old Dad who is a USN Vietnam Disabled Veteran”

In participating in World T.E.A.M. SportsSoldiers to the Summit at Snowbird event in February, 2012, Snyder has particular goals. “I hope to give motivation to other disabled warriors or veterans, while building friendships and comradery, with my fellow brothers and sisters,” he said. “I want these friendship to be ones that will last a lifetime and know they are now connected with a new brother they just met.”

Snyder recalls a statement from the fictional Gunnery Sergeant Hartman, as portrayed by R. Lee Ermey in the Stanley Kubrick film, “Full Metal Jacket.” Ermey served as a Marine Corps drill instructor prior to his film career and so is well educated in the Marine culture. “You are Marines. You’re part of a brotherhood. From now on until the day you die, wherever you are, every Marine is your brother. Most of you will go to Vietnam. Some of you will not come back. But always remember this: Marines die. That’s what we’re here for. But the Marine Corps lives forever. And that means YOU live forever.”