Chris Mintz, a former Army vet who served in the 2nd. Infantry Division at Join Base McChord (Tacoma) from 2004-2007, undoubtedly saved a number of lives, say witnesses.

Mintz blocked a door, and helped delay 26-year-old Chris Mercer as he ruthlessly shot and killed ten people and injured at least 20 others, including Mintz. He was in one of the classrooms when the gunman arrived.

  Instead of running away, he charged towards the attacker, trying to protect his classmates, allowing some of them to escape.  He was shot three times, then looked up at the gunman and said "it's my son's birthday today!"  He was then shot two more times, but he survived.

Family members say he will have to learn to walk again, but he is awake and in good spirits. He earned numerous awards and commendations during his time in the service.