WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- This week's Extraordinary Person of the Week is the 'Purple Hearted Hero'. John Moulder recently retired from the military and wanted to find a way to give back. He did.
After John Moulder graduated high school, he enlisted in the Marines. Shortly after, he would be involved in the invasion of Iraq. His unit was called in to help during the Battle of Nasiriyah. You may remember Army Private Jessica Lynch was captured by Iraqi forces during the attack. Moulder helped rescue soldiers during that attack.
2003 was just the beginning of John Moulder's journey.
"Iraqi campaign, Expeditionary, Global War on Terror," John Moulder said as he described a wall full of medals he has received. The medals are memories. "My first team got hit by an IED", Moulder said of a 2011 attack. "They were both in the same compound together. That had been my 10th explosion exposure."
His unit featured in part of a newly released war documentary, 'The Hornet's Nest'.
After six tours of duty in active war zones and medals from Valor to Presidential to the Purple Heart, newly retired Sergeant John Moulder is back in Wilmington. "This is all I've been doing for more than a decade now," he said as he commented about having to adjust back to civilian life. "You just don't get out of the Marine Corp and go start doing algebra and calculus," he joked.
Moulder demonstrated self-defense moves he now teaches in Wilmington.
"Off balance your opponent and pull back," he said. It's one of the ways he has used his experience to adjust to civilian life.
"What we want to do is give back," Moulder said. "We want the community to be able to protect itself. Once we start getting people together we want to start doing community service, for disabled veterans, but it doesn't have to be veterans, if they need some yard work done, we can do yard work as a class."
Sgt. Moulder and his partner, mixed martial arts black belt Troy Blum, just opened up what they call a family oriented self-defense studio in Wilmington.
"You always want to have it off to the side," Moulder said as he demonstrated how a senior can use their cane for self-defense. That's what he says he teaches....reality based self-defense.
Something a kid could use. Something a senior citizen could use. "There's no going to competitions and sparring with people to get trophies...this is reality based training," he said.
Training and teaching....
Sgt. Moulder says self-discipline is knowing when you should, and should not, use force in everyday scenarios.
That's Extraordinary in itself....turning the experience of a life on the battlefield into something the community could use.
His partner at the self-defense studio says this is the perfect way for him to use his(Moulder)experience. "This is a Sergeant," Troy Blum said. "This is somebody who saved lives, who grabbed people out of harm's way, who had a ricochet off his face, who is a hero."
The wall is proof of John Moulder's past "hero".
The new job to help protect the community is proof of his future "hero".
"We've let God lead the way," Moulder said. "It's brought us to a lot of great people and it keeps opening more doors."
Welcome home, Marine Sgt. John Moulder.
Everything you did, and do, is rather...Extraordinary.
John Moulder resides in Wilmington with his wife and two children.
He and his business partner opened up the self-defense studio on Memorial Day.
They say that once they get enough folks on board, they will start doing community outreach and volunteering.
For more information on their current mission, and how to sign up for classes, please visit their website----> www.americancombatelites.com