Greg Washington is a US Army Veteran and the host of the podcast Guards Down. Complicated grief and PTSD are not something that only veterans deal with when coming home from war. Anyone who has been through or witnessed a traumatic experience can have PTSD or complex grief. But what we do need are veterans who have dealt with PTSD and complicated grief and have found ways to cope and get through.
The Guards Down podcast is devoted to helping people who need support, encouragement, and advice. PTSD and complicated grief now have a voice of healing. Listen in as Greg talks about his own experience with complicated grief and how he overcame it and how this led to his life’s mission helping others like him.
Dealing with PTSD and Complicated Grief with Greg Washington
PTSD is a notorious condition affecting thousands of veterans of the U.S. Army. The numbers are very telling.
According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, out of every 100 veterans who served in Iraqi operations (Freedom and Enduring Freedom), an estimated 11-20% suffer PTSD in a year. Worse still, 12% of Gulf War veterans struggle with PTSD in a year.
It would be a mistake to misjudge the fatality of PTSD. It has affected the lives of thousands of veterans – among them some of the toughest soldiers ever to serve the United States. Having a firsthand experience of PTSD and complicated grief – and most especially defeated it – Greg Washington is better positioned to help veterans navigate this mental inferno, emerging healthy, restored, and full of back to the happy life.
Who is Greg Washington?
Greg’s story with PTSD started at 17 when he gained admission to the prestigious United States Military Academy (USMA), commonly known as West Point. With an enviable history in sports, Greg went on to dominate the sporting arena at West Point.
However, the juice of life started seeping out when the World Trade Center was attacked in the infamous 9/11 watershed. The gravity of the incident consolidated Greg and his fellow cadets’ conviction that they were going to war. And to war, they went!
In war, casualties are almost assured. Sadly, Greg’s two best friends paid the ultimate price for America – dying in combat. One died in Iraq and another in Afghanistan.
For Greg himself, he served courageously in the Army as an infantry officer in Afghanistan and Iraq before he was injured. Ultimately, he had to leave the Army, but the transition back to civilian life was definitely not a walk in the park.
First, he had his demons to exorcize. Being ambitious, he had built all his dreams around being a career officer, possibly ascending the military ladder as far as being a General.
Back to the civilian world…
Now out of the military with those goals out of sight, it was an enormous battle sliding back to civilian life and figuring the next tangible step to take in life.
Not that Greg didn’t try. He had measurable success in the corporate world. Greg worked as an Executive Manager of Materials Management for Shell Oil Company – specifically in the Contract and Procurement division.
Greg would also go on to work as a Department Manager for Unitec Elevators, an industry-leading elevator company in New York.
There were handsomely paying jobs, and the money was pouring in. Sadly, the paychecks were filling his bank account but not Greg’s heart. The gaping mental wounds from his military life still remained and festered.
Memories of his two dead West Point comrades – whom he was intrinsically bonded with – kept hunting him as he struggled with PTSD and complicated grief.
Unable to run away from his ultimate purpose in life, Greg had to give up his 6-figure job and found Guards Down, a platform dedicated to helping veterans and first responders overcome PTSD and complicated grief. This mentally rejuvenated Greg, giving him something to live for and a life to cherish again.
Advice from Greg for veterans and first responders suffering from PTSD
Having been there, Greg perfectly understands that solitude is the perfect breeding ground for PTSD and the depression that faithfully escorts it.
According to Greg, it is crucial to reach out and mix with your community of veterans. There is nothing weak in this.
It is crucial to connect with like-minded people outside your current civilian circles. This is essentially what Guards Down is about – bringing veterans and first responders suffering (or have suffered) from PTSD together to heal together by communally reinforcing their health and vitality.
Here, these people can serve as your accountability partner, holding you up along the journey to recovery.
After networking with that exclusive community and drinking succor from that fellowship, it is crucial to identify the pain you are going through – physically and spiritually. The more ambiguous or intangible it is – the more elusive and monstrous it becomes.
Document your pain, give it shape, and define it. After accurately representing it, it is now time to build a plan to overcome it.
This involves strategic and consistent physical exercises, conscious dieting, and mindfulness. By being mindful, you acknowledge the experiences haunting, accept them, be grateful for life and where you are today, and move on!
Guards Down is a designated platform for veterans and non-veterans yearning for holistic treatment for PTSD and other trauma-related ailments. We get you results by combining culturally-sensitive coaching, community, and CBD products to help you heal. Take the first step to your restoration by joining the Guards Down community. Our mission is simple: Do Something.
You can listen to the full podcast episode, here: Complicated Grief and PTSD with Greg Washington.