Sentinel Stories

“Today as I look back, I would have not been the CEO and president of Anvil Builders and had a beautiful wife and son if the Sentinels of Freedom did not invest in my goals, family, and future. For this ... I am grateful and very appreciative. I plan on one day returning the favor and mentoring a Sentinel someday soon.”

— HT Tran

HT Tran

Sergeant, US Army

During a combat deployment to Iraq, HT was hit by an improvised explosive device. He lost his right eye and sustained permanent injuries to his left leg that required doctors to insert a titanium rod to help repair it.

During his 15 months recovering at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, HT met with Mike Conklin, chairman and CEO of Sentinels of Freedom (SOF) and other SOF mentors. Mike and SOF were there for HT during his long recovery, providing both mentorships and guidance. After his release from the hospital, SOF provided connections to help HT get started as a procurement officer with Northrop Grumman. This eventually led him to start his own civil engineering company, Anvil Builders, in 2010.

As CEO and President of that company, HT was guided by his desire to give back to other veterans and to have the impact on their lives that SOF had had on his. Today Anvil Builders is deeply committed to aiding the disabled veteran community. In fact, HT’s commitment to advancing the veteran community has been featured in the San Francisco Chronicle and on CNN. In addition, he’s been honored with Engineering News Record’s Award of Excellence in recognition of Anvil Builders’ growth and the contributions they’ve made to the veteran community. HT has also been recognized by Sentinels of Freedom chairman and CEO Mike Conklin, who brought him on board as a member of the organization’s board of directors.

What was HT’s experience with Sentinels of Freedom? “Flawless. Very effective. You don’t feel like just another number, and there are no promises that might not be delivered. You never feel like you’ve been scammed: It’s the Real Deal. The number one thing is that the organization doesn’t just take anyone. You have to want success and [be willing] to give it back.”

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Across our great nation, our Sentinels are building new lives for themselves and their families.