Today Show Honors One of Our Own: Marine Gunnery Sergeant John Rose
By Lexi Ross
WASHINGTON – On Wednesday night, Marine Gunnery Sergeant John Rose and Colleen Rose were honored at the second annual Hidden Heroes gala, a special evening honoring military and veteran caregivers. Michelle Obama and Tom Hanks were among the celebrities in attendance. “There were lots of surprises, including a $1 million donation,” Today Show Savannah Guthrie says from Washington.
Leading up the Hidden Heroes gala, Guthrie interviewed John and his wife Colleen. John was our 2018 recipient of the Jerry Coleman Award and he is a tremendous addition as an advisor and supporter of the Bob Feller Act of Valor Award Foundation.
The Rose’s triumphant story portrays overcoming adversity even when it approaches at the wrong time.
Marine Gunnery Sergeant John Rose was significantly injured in combat in Afghanistan in 2010. After returning home, John had to “find a new way to do things” because of his injuries. Consequently, for the next two years Colleen nursed him back to health.
Then, suddenly and completely, in 2012, a train struck a parade float that was honoring wounded warriors which Colleen and John were riding. The tragedy left Colleen severely injured, along with 17 others and killing four veterans. John had to transition from the care recipient to the caregiver to aid Colleen. “It was hard to get into a routine of being the caregiver as I was still recovering from my injuries myself,” John said.
Thinking “enough already” after the tribulations the Roses have gone through, the story does not end there. In 2016, doctors diagnosed Colleen with stage two breast cancer. “When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, we thought this is not our first rodeo,” Colleen said. Adding to her iron-willed attitude, John said, “Eight seconds at a time, just like a rodeo.”
But, as life throws curveballs at the Rose family, they tend to hit them out of the park. Colleen who now has a clean bill of health, just announced she is pregnant. “We started the beginning of our lives together quite literally in a crisis that we feel ready to tackle whatever happens,” Colleen says.