Presentation on theme: "How an injury while serving in the military showed me my disability is my new ability! Being a Lighthouse for others."— Presentation transcript:
How an injury while serving in the military showed me my disability is my new ability! Being a Lighthouse for others
About me: I served in the United States Marine Corps from 1999-2005 as an 0311 Infantry rifleman. During my time in Iraq, my unit lost 14 Marines and had over 30 receive combat related wounds/injuries. I was one of them.
Life changing night for me- This is me after being shot in the face by an ak-47. This was the start of my long and painful recovery process. Below is how I ate for 7 weeks with a broken jaw. Not much fun. I had to learn my new normal with headaches and some of the tough limitations my injury caused. Some of our wounded now have to learn to use wheelchairs, handicap vehicles, lowered cabinets and countertops= the family must learn this also. Explain:
More about my injury & Recovery I often tell people my injury is the best, worst thing thats ever happened to me. I live a different life now, always aware of what may cause the bullet to move, cause me more pain or my wife more worry. I dont let it stop me though, I still play with my kids, love my wife and enjoy a very active lifestyle. We participate in mud obstacle runs, races, skydiving (sshhh, don't tell my wife) and things that make me feel more like me. I did none of these things before my injury! Most of you have been living with your adapted abilities since birth but some of you, like me have come into them more recently in life. We need your experience and your stories to share with young wounded veterans that dont think they can live life this way. You can show them that its not only possible to live but to thrive in life. School/ work/ fun COMPANIES- have been making products for years to help persons with disabilities, can easily include the injured/disabled veteran community!
What saved me? Standing in front of you, I now have the honor of working for an amazing organization that was created to assist combat wounded veterans and their families during times of hardship. We help with finances, we have employment opportunities and have events that help our families heal and learn new ways to face the challenges their new injuries put in front of them. The Coalition to Salute Americas Heroes (www.saluteheroes.org)www.saluteheroes.org I started with the Coalition 2007 by calling our donors and thanking them for allowing us to do the great work we do. Now I serve as the Regional Vice President of our Eastern Region (East of the Mississippi river) including all things veterans. The military bases, hospitals, events and the different ways we can support them. Had I not been injured my life would look very different but my struggle through my recovery and the support of my family have made me a strong advocate for veterans and their families. Have you let your struggles through life make you stronger today than you were yesterday?
I honor our fallen militaryI live for and love my family. (Sarah my wife, Gabby (10)and Kollin(5) I continually challenge myself to overcome obstacles, fears and adventures! If you look around the room you see a lot of people going through the same things as you. Facing challenges every day, from mobility, communication and so much more. Face them together, and grow stronger together. You arent alone and as a team there is nothing you cant overcome. Share that information with the wounded veterans in your communities, at the gym or at church. Let them know they arent alone.