“As a Medical Evacuation Pilot in the 5th most intense battle in U.S. history with multiple deployments, I experienced a “hard landing” in Afghanistan that would completely change my outlook on life. During those multiple deployments, I tried to keep all my feelings bottled up. I thought that I could live my life “flying solo.” It’s become a societal norm to not want or need anybody and that if you cannot be completely independent, you are weak. I am here to tell you that that is not true.
After returning home, I faced night terrors, isolation, and suicidal thoughts while trying to adjust to simple everyday tasks and relationships that I’ve had forever. My military career was centered around fixing others and not myself.
After almost giving up on living a life after transitioning from the military, I was paired with my service dog Jonsey, and my life has completely transformed. I realized that having a co-pilot on your journey makes it just manageable enough to face each day and live through life’s challenges. Jonsey saved my life.
After learning how to live again, I made a decision that my struggles would not define me. Rather, they would provide me with the strength, resolve and courage to do something more than I ever thought I was capable of.
I strive to break the mold and to share a little bit about my story through #RAGFriday to help others deal with the non-visible wounds after the military. Let me be the first to tell you that your feelings are valid, and it can get better. I want to share my story so others may succeed, grow and most importantly, live. I am here to tell you that no matter where you are and what you are feeling, we are here to be your co-pilot.
The more we talk about what is going on, the more we can all help each other. Let’s help each other see that we are a team who can stand together and move forward. Our missions may vary, but our drive to help others will never change.
So others may live.” – Terry Hill, CEO of Rapid Application Group & Co-founder of Rag Friday Foundation