Aaron T.

16 years combined service. 12 years with Marine Corps and 4 with Army. 8 years recruiting in both branches. No deployments. Had a training accident my first year in the Army the week I turned 40. After couple months and second opinions needed shoulder surgery. First surgery ever in my life. 3 months into rehab continued to have pain issues. After a followup found out that I almost severed my spinal cord. Sent in for Emergency surgery. A plate and couple screws later jokingly asked the doctor I still couldn't feel my left leg. After a follow up and physical therapy. An MRI discovered I crushed my sciatic nerve on the left side. After that surgery recovery was not great for me or my Wife and Daughter. Started coping and barely being around my family and friends. Several bad fights with my wife later I sought help from MilitaryOneSource. Wasn't really about it being that all the health care professionals never served and could not understand anything. Went back to Coping for awhile and then had the one last huge fight with my wife. It was the wake up call that I needed. No one else could help me but me if I wanted it. The looks in my wife and daughter's eyes slapped me in the face. I decided at that moment they and I were worth living for. Went to my Primary Care doctor and started getting evaluated for PTSD, Anxiety, and depression. Couple more therapists later found one that has her own practice and was still military. Eric "Gunny " Swanson was my inspiration for this. He had posted something for this clothing and I bought the semicolon shirt and a PTSD shirt from NINE-LINE. After many therapy sessions the support of my Awesome Wife (Allison) and finally seeing my Daughter smiling and not being afraid of me made me realize that there is more. I received a Medical Retirement after all my surgeries and issues. Also through this I had to campaign for my self for my MED BOARD against my Command and take care of me through it all with the support of friends who I finally opened up to about all of this and all my short comings and feelings of being a failure for not serving my country how the world sees it. I dove deeper into my faith in all this and stopped controlling what I couldn't and sometimes stuff I didn't want. I now am working on getting my Real Estate License and supporting my wife and daughter in there schooling and my wife's soon to be new career in health care as a BSN Nurse. Going on a wonderful 15 years of marriage this coming May 2022. Every service member, First Responder I can and try to support and encourage them that it is ok to get help. I want to change the "22" to "0" and anyone else in-between that I can. I am a survivor and I own it everyday I wake up. Looking to do more everyday. I volunteer when I can at the local VA hospital. Currently also trying to give advice to 2 others going through MED BOARDS with my same Command. It takes a team to get through this stuff not one but it does take one to get it started and that has to be within. It's a hell of a process but for those that are trying to support us have to keep at it and not give up. Thank you for your time.

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