Faces of Resiliency - Wounded Warriors Visit Air Base

American300 Public Affairs - 9/8/14

Minot Air Force Base, ND-  When Jen Housholder, was very young she faced abusive trauma that no child let alone women or man should ever have to deal with.  After boxing up the bad and pushing it behind her, she moved on in life and eventually graduated from college and LSU’s ROTC program.  

As a UH60 Black Hawk pilot flying over roof tops in Iraq, she found that the past has a way of catching up with you. Life memories that were nothing more then specks in the rearview mirror could turn into cracks in life’s windshield. 

After her second deployment to the middle east, Housholder was facing a train wreck, the demons of the past were invading her every waking and sleeping moments. 

Inside his rolling up armored humvee, Staff Sergeant Shilo Harris made sure that his driver, two riflemen and turret gunner were switched on.  As Cavalry Scouts they’d been assigned to check out a reported IED finding a few miles up the road.  

Being the third vehicle in the response element, Harris watched as his driver followed standard operating procedures, there was no way his vehicles tires were leaving marks created by the vehicle in front of them. The reason was all around them, the route was littered with holes from previous IED explosions. 

The technique was drilled into every driver and his driver was negotiating the crater strewn road perfectly.  Against a pressure switch this movement technique had saved countless lives, but was useless against a manually triggered 'remote det.' IED.  All Harris, and his team could hope for was that there were no IED’s buried beneath them. 

Without warning Harris’ team was blown up, the result of someone flipping a switch, crossing some wires or dialing into a triggering device from a mobile phone.  

With the effects of 700 plus pounds of explosive ordinance evident all around him, Harris was stuck inside his vehicle burning alive.  

Months later, the Texan would awaken and face the tragic news that 3 of his teammates were gone and that his driver was in the same charred state of ruin that he faced literally. 

Chief Warrant Officer Housholder and Staff Sergeant Harris, great American's with amazing families and friends all faced the same uphill battle: Overcome through healing and adaptation or allow our country to loose two more great Service Members to: depression, PTSD and potentially suicide.  

After walking and running around Air Force Global Strike Command's Minot Air Force Base for a week, it was evident to all who met the two and American300's founder Robi Powers, that post-traumatic growth and true teamwork had won out in the end.  

“I’ve spent so much time in our VA Hospitals talking with my fellow wounded warriors, but this trip to Minot has been about sharing stories of recovery and growth with the world’s nuclear weapons deterrence team,” says Harris, a new comer to the nonprofit’s line up of all volunteer mentors, adding, “sure life threw my family along with Jen’s a major curveball, but we learned how to hit the curve and thanks to American300 have an opportunity to teach others how to do it too." 

To learn more about these two amazing wounded warriors please visit:
www.SHILOHARRIS.com   * Make sure and check out his new book 'STEEL WILL' 

American300 provides resiliency programming in support of the Department of Defense Service Branches on a monthly basis all over the world.   The nonprofit is a 501c3 NGO/AVO.  No federal endorsement of nonprofit or sponsors is intended or implied - American300.org 

For more on American300 visit:  www.American300.org

For more information on Minot Air Force Base go to:  www.minot.af.mil 

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