A Warrior’s Pledge: James Bishop
As part of Phase III, each No Barriers Warriors participant is asked to create a pledge at the end of their expedition. The pledge is an opportunity to work towards a meaningful personal goal and create a lasting connection to the No Barriers community. We hope you are inspired by the stories of how our Warriors Alumni are continuing to move forward and live a No Barriers Life.
What was your Pledge?
a. Health and happy family – For the past 8 months, my family and I have been watching weight by eating right (I am down 40 pounds). We exercise (most of the time together) and have been planning activities (runs/walks, fundraisers, etc.).
b. Find a new job – I’ve been applying but no luck so far. Often I speak with HR and I worry that saying I am a disabled veteran may not be good, but I’m continuing to apply.
c. Move into a new home – The move is in the works; we are cleaning up and preparing current home.
d. Travel with my wife – We planned a trip to Colorado in July 2017 and traveling to Hawaii in 2018 is being discussed.
e. Spend time with my family – Every other week we plan small activities like movies, dinner, bike riding or a visit to the mall.
f. Build a strong retirement – I’m confident that this is on track given my 28 years with the military and 20 years (Nov ’17) with Raytheon.
How did it feel to accomplish your Pledge?
Overall it felt good, but I have a shadow feeling that something will pop up and tear down what I’ve built. I do work with other veterans and talk to them about what I have done or am doing to help inspire them, though I don’t know if it’s always effective. I ran for and won the Raytheon Veterans VP (RAYVETs) position which covers 7 states. My goal is to help hire veterans, help veterans with resumes, promote science and math with JROTC high schools and support the SMILES charity that builds homes for 100% disabled veterans.
What are some of the barriers you overcame to accomplish your Pledge?
Reviewing myself; what I can do and cannot do, how I do my planning, and talking with my family.
I had a major setback in December 2016 when an artery in my throat opened up 3 days after having my tonsils removed. I lost 40% of my blood and was in intensive care but I did recover and enjoyed another Christmas with my family. It was close.
“I stopped trying to please everyone, just focused on me with weight and exercise that helped with doing activities with family.”
What advice would you give to fellow alumni as they work towards accomplishing their own Pledge?
Start with yourself, with something small and build on how you want to be with your appearance, education, or activities so then you can reach out to your family, home, neighborhood, etc. Don’t sweat the small stuff.