It was an honor and a privilege to serve with Joseph and Adam, the men who started Walk of Life. We battled together during some of the heaviest of times. While my deployment was cut short due to my injuries from a suicide car bomb, these men continued to battle for years to come. They continued to lose friends and continued the fight in service to our great country. When they returned home they found that they were still losing friends, fighting a new battle of returning home, transition and reintegrating. They themselves went through a dark time and noticed a need for veterans all over America. They decided to walk across America to raise awareness for Veteran issues and transition, they are truly our best. They fought America’s battles for all of us and they have returned home to fight for each other. Truly remarkable, these men are what heroes are to me. I’m honored to call them my friends and forever my brothers in arms.
“I will always place the mission first.
I will never accept defeat.
I will never quit.
I will never leave a fallen comrade.”
We will be donating a portion of Hope Unseen sales to Walk of Life for the next month.
What is your experience in the military?
I had a 17 year on again off again love affair with the military. After several breaks in service, I served from 2003 to 2012 when I was medically retired. Two combat deployments with the greatest men that have walked the planet. My service showed me both the greatest of times and some of my lowest times, but it moulded me into the person I am now.
What was your transition to civilian life like?
A transition is always tough, and for a soldier, it’s even tougher as you lose your brotherhood, sense of purpose, and the role that has defined you for years. We are often misunderstood, labelled, and because we are starting over, often working outside our peer group and away from likeminded people.
How did this motivate you to Walk for Life?
The motivation for Walk of Life had many faces; self-healing, finding our purpose again, reuniting with brothers, reaching out to those in need (often that was us) and making sure that no man or woman was left behind…especially now.
What do you want all transitioning military families to know?
YOU ARE NOT ALONE…one way or another we can and will get through this together.
How can we help the cause?
Sharing and networking groups that offer real solutions and real hope is all any of us can do. But the last thing a person in crisis needs is to scroll through a full webpage of t-shirt sales to finally find a number that could help them.
What can we do in our communities and neighborhoods to help veterans transition to civilian life?
There is no simple answer for helping, it could be as simple as a cup of coffee and a smile for some. But some may require professional help through counseling and medical care. The number one thing is to keep an open mind and never stop exploring new options.