When I was 14 years old I saw a video about Green Beret selection and training. After watching the video, I had no clue what Green Berets did, however, I was fascinated at how intense the selection and training was. I was also impressed at the tight knit brotherhood that was forged during these seemingly barbaric training simulations. From that point on, I made it my mission to be one of the select few that has had the honor of wearing the Green Beret.
The intense selection and training in the Special Forces Qualification Course lived up to my expectations and then some. The Course tested me mentally and physically and showed me that I could do things that I once thought to be impossible. The camaraderie between the students also exceeded my expectations. We were soldiers brought together from every corner of the country with representation of every ethnic group and socioeconomic class. There were the rich and poor, northerners and southerners, atheists and believers, GED-holders and master’s degree-holders of all ethnicities.However, despite our differences we banded together to accomplish our mission.
When I made it to my Special Forces team, I joined an even tighter fraternity. My teammates became my brothers and I knew that I could rely on them for anything. While deployed in Afghanistan, my philosophy was “There are 12 men on this team, therefore, there are 11 men whose lives are more important than mine.” Every person on my team lived by this selfless philosophy. This philosophy was put to the test many times in Afghanistan and was the reason why I survived after I was shot.
After I was wounded, I was introduced to a new part of the Special Forces brotherhood, the Green Beret Foundation (GBF). This organization was there for my family and myself since day one. Immediately after being wounded the GBF provided my family with a check for $1,000 to help cover miscellaneous and unforeseen costs. This money was incredibly helpful and very much needed. Little purchases here and there began to add up and this generous donation helped to offset the costs.
When I was shot, the bullet fractured my hip and forced me to use crutches for two months. After awhile, the pain in my shoulders, neck and arms was excruciating from using the crutches. During this time frame I was weaning myself off of my painkillers, which made the pain from injuries and the residual pain even worse. The GBF once again had my back. The GBF provided me with me 24 massage therapy sessions. These sessions helped to reduce my pain and helped me to get off of my painkillers and stay off of them. These sessions also helped to speed up the healing process.
There are many people that I need to thank for my recovery and the GBF is certainly one of them. Just like my teammates, the GBF puts the needs of others above their own. When I was a 14 year old I admired the Special Forces brotherhood, but I truly did not understand it until I was apart of it. Now I realize that the brotherhood doesn’t just last while you are on a Team or in the Special Forces, organizations like the GBF help it to last a lifetime. If you are looking to donate your hard earned money to an organization that is dedicated to helping Green Berets and their families, this is the organization. Please check out the GBF website http://greenberetfoundation.org/ and give generously.