Greg Washington has dedicated his life to helping those dealing with PTSD and grief. After life in the military, he climbed up the corporate ladder while figuring out life away from the battlefield. He was successful in fields like oil and gas, in a company handling taxes and accounting work, and finally in an elevator company. Now, as he describes in this podcast, his company, Guards Down, allows him to lead a fulfilling life helping those who struggle with emotional trauma and hang-ups.
Listen to the full episode of this podcast here.
Life at West Point
Greg has family members in the United States Air Force, Marines, Navy, Army, Special Forces, and Coast Guard. Even so, he was the first member of his family to graduate college and become an officer in the army.
At West Point, Greg studied engineering management with a concentration in mechanical engineering. It was a great emotional sacrifice to complete the five-year commitment of balancing school, sport, and military training, but Greg accomplished his goals. Apart from hoping that this education would help him raise his socioeconomic status, he strove to fulfill his duty to protect and defend his country and family.
According to Greg, his life at West Point was not a coincidence. It was meant to happen. He believes that if you strongly believe in something, then the universe will ultimately bend to your will and make it happen.
Leadership Roles in the Army
As a newly commissioned second lieutenant, Greg was attached to a special forces unit in Afghanistan. At only 24 years old, Greg was a platoon leader with about 32 young men and women under his leadership. He accounted for heavy machinery worth about $3 million.
People that serve in the military can be some of the best leaders in the civilian world. These people, including Greg, achieve the right mindset of serving while understanding ethical values about work, character, and leadership at a young age.
A Journey Through Trauma and Grief
The trauma and grief Greg has had to deal with run very deep. He lost several close friends to combat, friends he had known and loved since West Point. Failure to forgive himself for their deaths made him turn to the bottle.
At 18 years old, Greg’s whole focus was to be a career army man, but as he devolved into depression, he broke from the army. He had to forge a new career path. He suffered through a divorce, his mother’s diagnosis of breast cancer, and the accumulation of huge debts. Dealing with PTSD, TBI, and complicated grief became very stressful. At his lowest point, a phone call from a young cousin was the only thing that saved him from suicide. After that, Greg was able to grow from his depression and stress and dedicate his life to helping others.
Healing from PTSD
Greg wrote a book coming called Suffering in Silence. In it, he shares his story about dealing with complicated grief and trauma. Those struggles are, unfortunately, faced by almost everyone at some point in their lives, be it through losing a loved one or going through a traumatic event that changes their life.
Healing requires the understanding that there is not going to be one pill that you can take that’s going to make you feel better. You have to undergo a complete lifestyle change to have a better life and achieve a subjective sense of well-being.
Insights about Medical Marijuana
People dealing with trauma are often prescribed antidepressant pills. These can end up making one feel numb inside, and the side effects of these drugs sometimes only add to the user’s stress. Alternatively, cannabis can be a natural remedy for depression, anxiety, and chronic pain.
After overcoming barriers to enter into the medical marijuana market, Greg and his team embarked on research about the cannabis plant. Getting into the foothold of the CBD space involved partnering with various Black and Caucasian organizations, expanding Greg’s personal connections. His company has CBD products to help soldiers and people dealing with anxiety, depression, and chronic pain.
Never hesitate to contact our professional counselors when seeking solutions to trauma, grief, and anxiety.