My name is Jason and I am a 100% disabled Army combat veteran. I served with the 82nd Airborne Division, 1st Special Forces Group and 25th ID to name a few. After being medically evacuated and separated from my Soldiers in combat, I found myself missing combat and the comradery I felt down range. After returning to the U.S., I was forced to medically retire. I moved to California so I could rejoin my wife and two daughters and hopefully start my new journey. After only two years of being retired I was diagnosed with stage III Colon Cancer and was given a year to live. The cancer had destroyed my hopes and dreams and devastated my family. My family and I decided to fight the disease so I immediately started a rigorous cycle of Chemotherapy. I also had to have my entire large intestine removed and an ostomy made so I could still function. My fight with cancer was a tough battle that almost took my life numerous times. I looked to family and friends for support, especially my military brothers. I prayed every night. Not for myself but for my family. By the grace of God and maybe a strong will to live and even a little stubbornness, I beat cancer! The disease left its marks though. I have lost all the feeling in both my hands and feet. I also struggle with sickness daily but I am grateful to be alive.
After Serving in combat numerous times, being injured, surviving cancer and struggling with PTSD I needed help. I found myself avoiding people and I fell into deep depression. I went for medical help but the treatments never seemed to work much for me. All I got was a bunch of pills that made me a zombie. I decided to look for help in another direction; my brothers that served beside me in hell. The bonds we share help me more than any clinic has ever done. Slowly I started to feel a little better and even enjoyed going places again (no crowds). Some of my family members like to go on off-road adventures in vehicles made for rock crawling. After attending an adventure with them I realized that when I returned my anxiety and stress levels were down and my PTSD seemed more manageable. I decided that this would be great to share with the Soldiers that are home now silently struggling. I decided to start building a rock crawler so I can take combat veterans out on adventures. Last year, I took my brother (Soldier) out on an adventure to the world famous Rubicon Trail. We had a blast reconnecting, talking war and sharing our struggles. During the trip I realized that the 4runner I built needed many upgrades to take veterans safely on the adventures.
Every dollar raised will go towards making the vehicle better suited for these trips. I plan on getting a winch, upgrading the suspension, getting new tires (spare also), installing safety type harnesses and roll-over protection. I have numerous people who have offered to help (including some veterans) with the labor part of the build.
Please help me by donating. I know this is a small project but I am positive that together we can reach struggling veterans and give them the help they have earned. Our nation's heroes need more than just medical care. Most struggle daily with mental health issues. Spending time with fellow veterans can truly help!