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Former Maverick Wrestler named Army Times' Soldier of the Year

Tom Block, who wrestled for the Mavericks in 2005-2009, honored by Army Times

Mankato Free Press 7-23-2014

MANKATO — Former Minnesota State University, Mankato wrestler Tom Block has been named Soldier of the Year by the Army Times.

Block wrestled for the Mavericks from 2005-09. A native of Waseca, Minn., he is a U.S. Army Ranger from 3rd Battalion, 75th Regiment who was seriously injured in October of 2013 by an improvised explosive device during an incident in southern Afghanistan.

Block has battled back from his wounds, learning to walk again while undergoing six surgeries, with several more to go. Doctors rebuilt his ocular bone, nose and cheekbone, which is fitted with a titanium plate. He lost his right eye and now sees at 20/60 with his left eye.

During his recovery, Block, 27, has spoken at leadership courses, mentored fellow wounded warriors and served as a motivational speaker. Despite his injuries, Block’s goal is to remain a Ranger and earn a college degree.

The entire version of this story can be read in a print copy of the Mankato Free Press. Call the Mankato Free Press at 625-4451 or (800) 657-4662 to find out how to purchase a print copy. The Free Press also prints select stories online at

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