My name is William Montgomery. I served in the United States military from September 1997 to July 2015. During this period I served in both the Army reserves and the Army Active Component as a 19D Cavalry Scout. I was deployed to Operational Theaters for Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn in during the Iraq War, serving and engaged in combat during my tenure; and medically retired in 2015. I left the Army, my career, with a diagnosis of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and with a strong desire to help myself and my fellow Veterans find ways to cope and heal from their own diagnosis in a health manner.
The United States Department of Veterans Affairs provides the following statistics about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder:
- About 7 or 8 out of every 100 people (or 7-8% of the population) will have PTSD at some point in their lives.
-Operations Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Enduring Freedom (OEF): About 11-20 out of every 100 Veterans (or between 11-20%) who served in OIF or OEF have PTSD in a given year.
-Gulf War (Desert Storm): About 12 out of every 100 Gulf War Veterans (or 12%) have PTSD in a given year.
It is my belief these estimates are low, considering the culture around mental health disorders and more specifically the military culture itself.
In 2017, I walked approximately 18 miles from Craig, Colorado (my current hometown) to Hayden, Colorado, as I felt led to support a fellow Veteran from our community. I did not seek donations but simply wanted to show my support for him and raise awareness. $1000 in unsolicited donations poured in that day and went directly to the Veteran and his family.
My hike this year will double in length, as I will be walking on MAY 5th over Rabbit Ears Pass (Steamboat Springs, Colorado).
This year, I am planning to purchase a minimum of two (three month) memberships for Veterans to a local gym, as exercise and nutrition have become an important part of my own healing. Any additional funding recieved will be utilized to support Veterans in our rural community through the Comrade in Need Fund managed in conjunction with the Veteran's of Foreign Wars - Craig chapter.
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Thank you for your support!
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