Gretchen’s New Lease on Life after Injury and PTSD

 

My name is Gretchen Evans. I served in the United States Army for 27 years. I loved serving my country alongside my fellow service members. After so many years, the military life was one I knew well and cherished.

Gretchen Evans

As I laid in my hospital bed recovering from my injuries, I knew my country would take care of me, I just did not know how it would happen or exactly what shape it would take.Gretchen Evans

Unfortunately, during a combat deployment to Afghanistan I was injured by a blast from a rocket. In a millisecond, my world changed.

I incurred life-changing and debilitating injuries. I lost all hearing, suffered a traumatic brain injury and internal injuries. As I laid in my hospital bed recovering from my injuries, I knew my country would take care of me, I just did not know how it would happen or exactly what shape it would take.

My transition from military life to civilian life was difficult. I had spent my entire adult life in the military. My heart was broken, not only due to the injuries I sustained but also due to the sudden loss of family, of fellowship, and the mission I had found and loved: the military experience. I was lost, sad, and hopeless.

A battle buddy of mine reached out when I was at my lowest and spoke of his experience with No Barriers Warriors. Having just come back from an expedition, he spoke of finding hope and connection— what he called a “rope team.”

Gretchen Evans Gila Expedition 2017 

The healing environment provided by No Barriers was life changing. Before, during, and after my expedition, No Barriers provided me and my group with avenues to replace hopelessness—not only with hope, but with renewed passion for living life to the fullest!Gretchen Evans

 

With little hope of being accepted into a No Barriers program, I sent in my application.

I had anticipated a rejection due to the extent of my injuries and my recent diagnosis of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Who would take a chance on me? Would anything help me? In my despair, I wondered.

Much to my surprise, I was accepted! I went on my expedition last year.

The healing environment provided by No Barriers was life changing.

Before, during, and after my expedition, No Barriers provided me and my group with avenues to replace hopelessness—not only with hope, but with renewed passion for living life to the fullest!

Confidence lost was restored. A new team committed to one another and a new way of life—a life with No Barriers.

 


 

No Barriers Warriors improves the lives of veterans with disabilities through curriculum-based experiences in challenging environments. Learn how you can apply for or nominate a veteran to No Barriers Warriors »