I started working with Warriors for Freedom around January of 2014. I had joined a crew rowing team for veterans that was sponsored by Warriors for Freedom. I had made a conscious decision to get out of my house, which I had been hiding in since my medical retirement a couple years earlier.
I was medically retired for PTSD after I had two heart attacks in 2010. While going through my medical board, it was brought to my attention how broke my body had gotten after two deployments to Iraq. I was not sure how long I would last on the team or how long I would be able to fight my anxiety off to be around people. I had been hiding in my house for over a year and coming back out around people was very nerve wrecking.
However, I met some amazing people and soon felt comfortable enough to do more than just the rowing. Soon I was going out to eat, and running 5ks. I went to a concert. I participated in a bass fishing tournament. I went camping. I FOUND HOPE. I had a seizure at a restaurant and a panic attack that I was worried would progress into another heart attack and the only person that called me at the hospital to check on me and reassure me (besides my husband) was MAJ Pulido. I knew then that I had found a friend that I could count on. A feeling that I had not had since I was in the Army.
This feeling of comradery is something that only Soldiers understand. The feeling that someone has your back can give you the strength to do more than you can on your own. I look forward to working with Warriors for Freedom to give other veterans hope.