Peter Maiello

U.S. Army

Sanford, North Carolina


PJ knew his entire life he'd be in the military. Growing up in Deerfield Beach Fl, he enjoyed days on the beach. On June 22, 1989, just 10 days after he graduated high school, he left for Basic Training at Fort Benning, Georgia. He participated in Operation Just Cause, Desert Shield/Storm, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

On October 18, 2010, while conducting a Night Airborne Airfield Seizure with the 82nd Airborne Division, another paratrooper drifted underneath PJ causing his parachute to collapse. PJ fell over 150 feet to the ground. These new injuries on top of the injuries sustained while in Iraq in 2007 were career-ending. After that fall, it was simply the grace of God he survived. He faced multiple surgeries that were a recovery nightmare. He still faces more surgeries and continues in physical therapy five years later. PJ was medically retired in 2014 after 25 years of service.

PJ and Brooke met after he had been in the military 17 years and soon thereafter married. She had always been active in the horse industry and that kept her busy during deployments. In 2009 they were blessed with Montgomery.

They live on a small farm where they enjoy a few horses, a handful of goats, a lot of chickens, and two pigs. They have two dogs Lucy and Lily. With no family relatively close they’ve had to rely on each other. A terrible accident like this could've easily pushed them apart but in reality it brought them closer together.