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Retired US Army , Boulder Crest

Warrior PATHH

Don has been suffering from severe PTSD since 2011, upon returning from his last deployment. Don’s wife is the only one who would not give up on him, no matter how challenging Don was, accepting he needed help for his PTSD.


Don was in the U.S. Army for eighteen years before suddenly having to be medically retired after having served in Operation Desert Storm/Shield, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, and finally, Operation New Dawn. In his eighteen-year career, Don had various jobs and responsibilities, including Armor MRAP driver/operator, which put him in many dangerous situations while serving as a combat medic. As an NCO, part of his responsibilities was ensuring the health and well-being of those under him, including all of those who had contemplated suicide while deployed but only to happen after coming home. This sent Don spiraling downward, which started affecting his civilian job as well as his home life. One of the most significant steps he took was finally realizing and recognizing he needed help and asking for help for something that he had been in denial about for so many years after coming home. The Army was his life and was all he knew, and when it suddenly ended abruptly, Don was devastated. Don’s first step in getting help was getting a service dog, Maverick, which was a very positive and big step in the right direction by saving two lives simultaneously. However, this and continued counseling was still not enough.


As a hardened combat warrior, Don still knew that there were some gaps in his life that he still needed help with, but just needed to find the right person. Finally, in 2023, while watching television, he saw a commercial from Boulder Crest Foundation. All he could see was himself drowning in memories, fear, nightmares, and life just from seeing that commercial. Then, in March and April 2023, Don attended Warrior PATHH at Eagle Oak Retreat in Italy, Texas. It finally allowed him to see that he was not the only one going through this downward spiral of the never-ending biggest battle of his life. Warrior PATHH opened his eyes to a new way of facing challenges that may never end but will allow him to face each challenge, all while trying to put what happened in the past stay in the past. Letting the shift happen and being the first Warrior PATHH group at Eagle Oak made it even better.


“Not realizing that not everything happens for a reason, I had all but given up on everything, including myself. Warrior PATHH gave me that shift that put confidence back in myself and my family by finally letting go and dropping that body armor of a load I have carried for many years.”


To this day, he regularly posts about himself on the Warrior PATHH App and has since continued to grow using Posttraumatic growth and has taken on a whole new mission in life. Now, knowing that there are other brothers and sisters to continue to help each other continue the journey.

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