U.S. Army Wounded Warrior Program (AW2) 10th Anniversary

Still serving in the Army, Staff Sgt. Jeffery Redman led the pledge of allegiance at a NASCAR Sprint Cup race in Richmond, VA in 2013.

 

SSG Jeffery Redman

Injuries

Multiple injuries from two mortars including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI), severe damage to legs including ankle fusion and vein damage

Location

Fort Campbell, Kentucky

Staff Sergeant Jeffery Redman was told he would never walk again, let alone stay in uniform and keep his legs after sustaining severe wounds from two mortars in Iraq in 2006. Redman, who had always been outgoing, also found himself hesitant to talk to people as he recovered at the Warrior Transition Units (WTUs) at Fort Campbell and Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

Already a participant in the U.S. Army Wounded Warrior Program (AW2), Redman regained confidence through his AW2 Advocate at Walter Reed, Tim Montgomery, who helped him realize a bigger purpose for his life after injury—giving back to others.  He began working with other Soldiers as they recovered.

“Pretty much every weekend, I’d go into a wounded Soldier’s room and ask how they were doing,” said Redman of peer mentoring at Walter Reed. Many of his fellow Soldiers were dealing with the emotions associated with injury and related personal challenges.  “Sometimes they won’t talk to anyone but another wounded Soldier. I can help them deal with that.”

Redman understood the integral role that peer mentoring plays in the recovery process even though it wasn’t a formal program. He traveled with four other AW2 Soldiers to visit victims of last year’s Boston Marathon bombing to lend expertise and share stories. Unsure of what to expect, Redman was surprised at what he found.

“They were upbeat and level-headed.  They were already past the stage of getting mad.  They were cutting up and chatting with us and laughing because they knew there were hard times ahead,” said Redman. “I told them, ‘if you keep the attitude you have now, there won’t be anything you can’t do.’”

Redman credits Montgomery with helping him return to duty. “Without him, I’d probably be out of the Army. He was there for me as a friend. That meant a lot to me.”

Of all his achievements, Redman remains passionate about mentoring.

“God left me here to be a mentor to other people who are injured, and can’t do it on their own, and it’s one of the main reasons I’m here,” said Redman. “It helps me recover a piece of me.”

Redman is currently serving in the 320th Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airbourne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

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