SHARE Military Initiative Stories of Courage Video Series

Shepherd Center's SHARE Military Initiative provides rehabilitation for military veterans, service members, and first responders with traumatic brain injuries and mental health concerns.

Stories from Our Veterans

Jonathan Thomas, US Army Platoon Sgt.

Platoon Sgt. Jonathan Thomas joined the military to serve his country. After 9/11, he was inspired to defend the U.S. overseas to ensure others could enjoy the peace and freedom that define our country. It wasn’t until he experienced multiple physical and emotional traumas while on active duty that he realized he needed help to overcome his experiences.

Jeremy Gamble Sr., US Marine Corps Corporal

Corporal Jeremy Gamble Sr. joined the military to serve his country and challenge himself to the fullest. During his time in the Marine Corps, he learned life-changing skills like leadership, discipline, and courage, which helped him endure significant physical trauma while deployed overseas. However, once home, he encountered a new kind of hardship after a severe motorcycle accident that left him facing the physical and emotional trauma he endured while on active duty.

Quintell Saunders, US Marine Corps Lance Corporal

Lance Corporal Quintell Saunders is no stranger to difficult times. He valiantly served his country, braving combat zones to ensure the peace and safety of Americans. Then, when he returned from active duty, he faced an entirely new battle – one that left him feeling alone and overwhelmed. After struggling to manage his life, he decided to enlist the assistance of a veteran’s rehabilitation center to address his traumas and find a better way to process his military experiences.

Matthew Gulick, US Marine Corps Sgt.

Sgt. Matthew Gulick had military service running in his veins. His father and grandfather paved the way for this military tradition, leading him to enlist shortly after graduating high school. After serving years of active duty and experiencing multiple instances of combat trauma, Sgt. Gulick found himself struggling to assimilate back into a normal life. He couldn’t separate his military past from his daily life, leaving him riddled with anxiety.

Seth Napel, US Army Communications Sgt.

Communications Sgt. Seth Napel joined the military days after 9/11 to serve the country he loved. While his combat experiences had a significant impact on his emotional anxiety, working in field hospitals is where his post-traumatic stress really started. After returning home from active duty, he found substance use and severe bouts of anxiety plaguing his days, driving him deeper into isolation. After a heroic effort to substitute physical activity as a means of processing his PTSD, a motorcycle accident crushed his progress and forced him back into a state of despair.

Jarrad Turner, US Army Staff Sgt., Medically Retired

Staff Sgt. Jarrad Turner is an experienced combat medic who is no stranger to physical trauma. After serving his country and providing essential medical interventions to his brothers in arms, he found himself facing significant physical trauma after experiencing a life-threatening fall from a guard tower while on active duty. Enduring multiple surgeries and living with the extensive scars of war, he not only faced visible wounds but also struggled with invisible wounds —traumatic brain injury and PTSD — leaving him overwhelmed and lost.

Christopher Dixon, US Air Force Sgt., Retired

Sgt. Christopher Dixon joined the military to serve his country and provide critical care to other service members as an independent duty medic. After being diagnosed with an anxiety disorder after his first tour, he opted to deploy again two more times – which significantly increased the emotional stress he was experiencing. After returning home, he found himself dealing with excessive anger issues that far exceeded his normal emotions. After a serious altercation during a routine flag football game, he came to the realization that he needed more help than he was receiving at the VA.

Gary S. Herber, US Army Sgt., Retired

Sgt. Gary Herber functioned as a security provider for elite missions while serving in Afghanistan. His platoon routinely escorted other military personnel into dangerous zones so they could complete their given missions. That’s why, over the span of just two months in 2009, he endured 12 separate IED explosions and found himself facing a physical and psychological toll that became too heavy to bear. After returning home, he found himself on the brink of giving up one day because of this traumatic stress.

Rojean Sanders, US Army SPC, Retired

Specialist Rojean Sanders distinctly remembers watching the events of 9/11 unfold while sitting in her dorm room. In that moment, she was inspired to do whatever she could to serve her country and protect the freedoms of this nation. However, during her time in the military, she sustained a traumatic brain injury, leaving her with a fractured skull and impaired memory function. This traumatic stress left her feeling overwhelmed, which is when she lost hope and contemplated ending her life.