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DVIDS – News – Inspire Stories of Honor: Brian Flom

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DVIDS – Information – Encourage Tales of Honor: Brian Flom


Command Sgt. Maj. Brian Flom knew one thing was improper.

He took shrapnel to his head throughout a rocket assault in Baghdad on Oct. 10, 2007 that, had it taken a barely totally different trajectory, would have sliced his carotid artery. However, he recovered from these wounds and returned to his unit.

“I may see me doing nothing else however getting again to Iraq to the troopers I’d left behind,” he mentioned.

Whereas watching the Boston Marathon, he recommended to his firm commander — virtually on a whim — that they run a marathon. Coaching began proper there within the Iraqi desert with a gaggle of troopers dedicated to elevating cash for wounded warriors, continued at residence when their deployment ended and concluded with the San Antonio Rock n Roll Marathon.

It was after the marathon that Flom began to comprehend one thing wasn’t proper.

“I might most likely say very early 2009, I simply form of go off the cliff,” Flom mentioned. “I began having quite a lot of unhealthy habits, totally different therapies, tried quite a lot of medicines.”

All of it got here to a head one evening when Flom took additional drugs simply to get some sleep and slept proper via the traditional begin time for work at 6 a.m., waking up solely when he acquired a name round 11 a.m. asking if he was OK.

That was the day Flom took his final capsule to cope with post-traumatic stress. It was additionally when he realized his marathon coaching periods had been doing as a lot to assist him get well mentally from his fight experiences because it was making ready him to run 26.2 miles.

Prompted by a suggestion from his spouse, Flom picked up mountain biking and hit the paths.

“That grew to become my outlet. I discuss with the outside as my pharmacy, if you’ll. That’s the place I acquired the drugs that I wanted,” he mentioned.

The mountain bike trails put him on a path to former President George W. Bush’s Workforce 43, an initiative of the George W. Bush Institute that, in accordance with its web site, “showcases the braveness, dedication and resilience of those warriors and underscores the significance of sports activities as a part of the rehabilitation course of for our women and men injured on the entrance strains.”

In his first journey, Flom spent three days with Bush and 16 different cyclists, using 100 kilometers and speaking in regards to the bodily and psychological challenges they’d skilled of their navy careers. He has returned for the alumni journey yearly since 2015.

“I discovered that have so inspiring,” Flom mentioned. “You don’t have to be a former president of america to make a distinction and to make a change in relation to the psychological well being of our navy and our veterans.”

Now, he takes each alternative he can to share his story and to remind others that it’s a signal of power to ask for assist with post-traumatic stress. He additionally works with the Veterans Wellness Alliance that gives a “one-stop store” for veterans to get the assistance they want relatively than calling everywhere and giving up earlier than getting the assistance he wanted.

“There must be no stigma concerned and it’s not a weak spot,” he mentioned.

What was the hardest problem you confronted?

“In October of 2007, I used to be wounded throughout a rocket assault in Baghdad, Iraq. I used to be medically evacuated to Brooke Military Medical Heart in San Antonio, Texas the place I spent six weeks recovering from my bodily accidents earlier than returning again to Baghdad, Iraq. Nonetheless, that was the simple half. Shortly after redeploying residence in August of 2008, I started displaying behaviors that had been counterproductive to being a productive member of the Military and my household.

The hardest half was recognizing the truth that I wanted assist for my psychological accidents and extra importantly looking for the assistance that I wanted. By way of the help of pros, my household and bodily exercise, I used to be capable of develop coping mechanisms that allowed me to be a contributing member of society, the Military, and most significantly my household. Publish-Traumatic Stress (PTS) grew to become one thing I’ve and never a dysfunction. I nonetheless cope with challenges related to Publish-Traumatic Stress, however have developed the abilities wanted to actively address it.”

What do you want finest about being in navy?

“That’s a simple one; it’s the folks. The factor that makes the Military so nice is that my brothers and sisters in arms don’t all look the identical. Our Military is comprised of troopers, civilians and members of the family from totally different races, genders, religions, and social backgrounds. When unified within the identify of the Military, it’s really outstanding what we accomplish. I’m satisfied that it’s the those that make the Military so nice and I might not commerce the relationships I’ve constructed for something.”

What was your proudest achievement?

“I’ve a pair moments that I’m equally pleased with reaching throughout my 29+ yr profession. Having enlisted within the Military whereas nonetheless in highschool, I’m notably pleased with having obtained each my bachelor and grasp levels whereas serving on energetic obligation, at instances taking on-line courses whereas deployed to a fight zone.

“The opposite achievement I wish to spotlight is the work I’ve completed to assist get rid of the stigma of looking for psychological well being. Beforehand, I mentioned one of many hardest challenges I’ve confronted and briefly talked about the profit that bodily exercise has on my psychological state. That bodily exercise has largely existed in mountain biking which led me to President George W. Bush’s Workforce 43. As a part of Workforce 43, I’ve had the privilege of mountain biking with President Bush on quite a few events in addition to the respect of being one among 96 veterans painted by him as a part of his artwork show and e-book “Portraits of Braveness.”

“Along with being a part of Workforce 43, I serve on his Workforce 43 advisory council the place we work to scale back the stigma of looking for psychological assist whereas offering assets for these in want. My largest reward has come from folks, after listening to my story, which have come to me and both shared their story or have requested me to assist them navigate the method of looking for assist.”

Is there one thing you want to the general public to find out about being within the navy?

“The women and men of the Military view service to our nation as an honor and a privilege, an honorable occupation and a privilege not taken calmly. Simply because the alternatives to serve within the Military are ample, much more ample are the distinctive tales of our veterans. I might ask the general public to discover a solution to join with a veteran and listen to their story. You could be stunned with what you study.”

What would you say to somebody who’s trying to be part of up?

“The Military is a good place to study, develop, and excel. Whether or not you’re like me and unsure what you need to do “whenever you develop up” or that the Military is the occupation of alternative on your profession, I might say my recommendation is identical — be your finest. The Military offers a singular alternative the place one can excel, no matter background, merely via laborious work and being their finest each single day.”

Story by Tammie Gitt

Carlisle Sentinel

Tammie Gitt





Date Taken:09.24.2020
Date Posted:09.24.2020 16:06
Story ID:378630
Location:CARLISLE BARRACKS, PA, US 




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