Brandon C Holiday
Birthdate: January 25, 1972
Team: Athletes with Disabilities Canoe Kayak Club
When Brandon Holiday was a boy, doctors told him and his family that he would never be able to play sports or even walk comfortably due to undiagnosed health. He has been proving them wrong ever since. To get knocked down and back up again and again- determined to serve and represent his country in whatever ways possible including as a National Team Paralympic athlete.
Who would have ever thought a man would face so many challenges like the loss of his leg, multiple heart attacks, and other health issues and turn all the adversity into a purpose-driven life? His struggles were not easy and he never thought he would make the United States National Para-Canoe Sprint Kayak Team and represent the United States at Paralympic Qualifiers or hold 9 US National Spring Canoe Kayak titles as a para-athlete in Sprint Kayaking.
While serving as an officer with the Salisbury City Police Department he received several commendations however he was injured in the line of duty. His injury led to complications and eventually the amputation of his left leg below the knee in 2006. His world was shattered. He knew his career would be forever changed, if not over entirely. He found himself lying in a hospital bed wondering “ What am I supposed to do now? How is an officer with no leg supposed to continue to help the community and nation he loves?”
Challenged Athletes Foundation grants made it possible for him to attend the 2007 O&P Extremity Games to compete in rock climbing and martial arts. Without CAF's help, Brandon would have never been exposed to what was possible. After several years of recovery and facing challenges, while seeking new meaning and purpose in life, Officer Holiday got his first service dog, Dyson. Dyson helped to change his outlook and then his life forever. Brandon’s service dog Dyson allowed him to see there was still hope for him to continue doing the work he was always honored to do. Help and serve others!
Since Dyson and Brandon were partnered, he has won nine United States national titles in 200-meter and 500-meter sprint kayaking, 14 medals in total in both martial arts and sprint kayaking (Paracanoe). He has made and been honored to represent the United States as a Member of the US National Team and Paracanoe Para-pan team.
Competing at the event and meeting other amputee athletes with similar injuries made him realize certain things; at that moment he realized the importance of mentors and that he no longer had to "go it alone." In addition, He has started a non-profit called Athlete with disAbilities Network Northeast in 2012 gaining independent non-profit status in 2017. This organization helps disabled veterans, adults, and youth with physical and mental challenges through mentoring and outreach, and adaptive sports programs.
As executive director of the Athletes with Disabilities Network (ADN) North East Chapter, Holiday works to improve himself through training and spreading the lessons he has learned to others. He has assisted with helping to train other service dogs for veterans with the Camden County Prison behind bars program through Team Foster.
With Dyson’s inspiration, in 2020 he created an organization called Red, White & Blue K9 Services which employs disabled veterans and first responders, training with their K9 partners to go on to work as K9 detector teams. The program helps disabled first responders and veterans like Holiday have the ability to work and continue to serve after being injured. To Holiday, Dyson is more than just a service dog, but a second chance at life as well as a companion and best friend. Dyson will be retiring in the spring of 2020 but is ending his career on a high note. Dyson was nominated and selected by the American Kennel Club recipient of the AKC Hero Canine for Excellence award which is given to only 5 dogs in the country in five categories. Dyson won the service dog award which is a true honor for his service.
Even though he has had many struggles he has continued to move forward. In total, he has suffered ten heart attacks, mini pulmonary emboli, fatigue, infections, medicine-induced Cushing's with diabetes, 4 cardiac stents, and other lupus-related issues.
Part of his belief is due to his experiences. He found his path, life work that gives him a sense of purpose, where he controls his outcomes, even if it is small positive steps in his life. This belief has saved his life. Understanding that fear and failure is ok and a part of becoming a better person by working through fears and using failure as a tool to learn. Working with other injured first responders, veterans, K9’s and serving the community is a dream come true
His motto: “ ALWAYS IN THE FIGHT”
Event/Discipline: Paracanoe Sprint Kayak 200m
School: University of Maryland Eastern Shore
Club: Athletes with Disabilities Canoe Kayak Club
USOC: Alternate Athlete Advisory Council
USOC: 2019-Certificate-Team USA/Kellog/North Western
Leadership School Non-Profit Management
ADaptive Sport Non-Profit
K9 Program for veterans and first responders
Recent Results: 9 time Sprint National Champion
2019 ACA Sprint National Champion Men’s Gold Medalist Paracanoe KL3 500m
2019 ACA Sprint National Champion Men’s Gold Medalist Paracanoe KL3 200m
2019 Pan American Championships (Paracanoegen) Brazil- Ranked 5th in Americas 200m KL3
2019 Pan American Championships (Paracanoegen) Brazil- Ranked 7th in Americas 500m KL3
2018 ACA Sprint National Champion Men’s Gold Medalist Paracanoe KL3 500m
2018 ACA Sprint National Championship Men’s Silver Medalist Paracanoe KL3 200m
2018 ACA Sprint National Championships Master Men’s B 500m Ranked 9th in US
2018 ACA Sprint National Championships Master Men’s B 200m Ranked 9th in US
2017 US Sprint National Championship Mens’ Paracanoe KL3 200m and 500m
2016 US National Paracanoe Sprint Team Member, Team USA
2015 Sprint National Champion Men’s KL3 Paracanoe 200m and 500m Sprints
2014 Sprint National Champion Men’s KL3 Paracanoe 200m, 500m and
2014 Sprint National Champion Men’s Masters 200m age 35- 44
2017 US National Team Trials – Silver Medalist KL3 Mens’ Paracanoe 200m
2017 US Sprint National Championship Gold Medalist Mens’ Paracanoe KL3 200m 500m
2016 USTA Adaptive Athlete of the Year
2017 Champion B division Men’s Doubles Princeton Classic
2016 Regional Champion USTA Amputee Tennis Tournament
2016 US National Men’s Paracanoe Sprint Team Member ( Team USA)
2015 World Championship Team Trials-Gold Medalist Men’s Paracanoe KL3 200m
2011 Silver Medalist Extremity Games
2016 US National Paracanoe Team
2014 United States National Sprint Kayak Champion LTA Men's 200m + 500m Champion
2014 US Sprint Canoe Kayal Masters 35+ 500m National Champion
2015 US Team Trials and Paracanoe Cup Qualifier 1st place, Gold Medal
2015 US Men's Paracanoe KL3 National Champion 200m + 500m
Is near sighted though he admits to hardly wearing his glasses.
His weakness and favorite food is Pizza
Favorite color is green
Favorite Books American Sniper, Back in the Fight
Favorite movie- remember the titans
Featured Extra in Invincible (I'm in the end can you find me?)
He accepts that he is Dysons's, his service dogs sidekick.
2016 US Team Trials and Paracanoe Cup Qualifier 2nd place, Silver Medal
2017 US Team Trials and 2nd place two Silver Medals
2017 200m + 500m Sprint national men's paracanoe champion
2018 500m PAracnaoe National Champion
2018 200m (silver) paracanoe
2018 Ranked 9th in country for olympic 200 + 500m Sprint Kayak
Gold Medals Won 8
Silver and Bronze Medals