About 12 years ago, my Army unit came under attack during our deployment to Afghanistan. During that fight, a sniper’s bullet struck me in the center of my forehead before exiting out the right side of my helmet.
With an injury that severe, I wasn’t supposed to live. Or was I?
Reflecting back on the moment I was shot, working through the years of recovery and rehabilitation, and coping with the daily challenges of a severe brain injury, I’ve discovered why I’m still on this earth.
Foremost, I’m here for my wife and young daughter. I met my wife not long before deploying to Afghanistan, and she has been a constant source of love and support since. There are no greater roles to me than husband and father.
I’m also here so I can be an advocate for other veterans. Through DAV, I get to use my voice and story to help others who’ve been forever changed by their military service. Whether through testifying before lawmakers, connecting veterans to DAV’s comprehensive programs and resources, or sharing with others about the sacrifices of veterans, volunteering is time well spent for me.
I care deeply for the veteran community, and I love sharing how all of us—whether you’ve worn a uniform or not—can make a life-changing difference in the lives of our nation’s veterans.
In a couple of days, thanks to the generosity of USAA, I will have the privilege of going to Super Bowl LVII in Las Vegas. Admittedly, it would be even sweeter if my beloved Green Bay Packers would be joining me, but I’m not just going for the game.
I see it as an opportunity for me to share on a national stage my story and the importance of the role we all play in taking care of America’s veterans.
Getting involved—even if it’s just an hour a month—can make a difference. And a good place to start is going to volunteerforveterans.org. There, you’ll find resources and ways you can help right here in our community. When you do, you’re demonstrating to veterans in our area that they matter and are seen.
Some service ideas include bringing a meal to a veteran who is homebound, doing light yardwork or cleaning headstones at one of our veterans’ cemeteries. The effort doesn’t have to be grand, just heartfelt.
I promise it’s time well spent.
Adam Alexander is a medically retired Army veteran who resides in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. He was also named DAV’s 2022 Disabled Veteran of the Year, an award for veterans who, despite their wounds, have had a substantial impact in serving their brothers- and sisters-in-arms.