Eddie Bryant - Founder / President
Eddie D. Bryant
Eddie D. Bryant joined the United States Army National Guard at the age of 17 while in his 11th grade year of high school, in 2003. He was a 94R, also known as a Avionic Radar Repairer. In 2006 he heard about a unit, 259th Security Forces, deploying to Iraq to do convoy security for unarmed civilians throughout Iraq. He petitioned his aviation unit to release him to fulfill his role as a combat soldier. He deployed in August 2006 and returned November 2007. On March 04, 2007 while traveling from northern Iraq to Balad, Iraq - the lead vehicle of his convoy was destroyed in a IED (roadside bomb) attack. Bryant witnessed the deaths of soldiers he served with, and was involved in not only the extraction, and first-aid of soldiers, but the medivac and debris clean-up. While deployed he earned an Army Commendation Medal for Valor, a Combat Action badge, an expert drivers badge, and was injured due to an IED that attacked his convoy. When he returned from Iraq he did a few ADSW (active duty, special work) jobs within the National Guard. These rolls included Border Security and work with the Recruiting Department of the Arizona National Guard.
Eddie Bryant once again volunteered to deploy to Iraq, this time, however, with an Aviation Unit from Michigan. He received his transfer and a few weeks before deployment his orders were revoked once they diagnosed him with a Traumatic Brain Injury and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder from his previous deployment. They offered him a medical retirement, but he declined a medical retirement and took a normal honorable discharge instead - giving up many earned entitlements that a medical retirement would have otherwise offered. He was discharged in January of 2010, after taking the remainder of his leave.
Eddie Bryant was able to immediately receive help from the Veterans Hospital for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and was feeling as though he was "cured" of the issues that ailed him. This was until he decided to continue his service in the contracting world of Kuwait and Afghanistan - where he'd ultimately be worse off than the issues that he had due to his Army Career (see below).
Determined to serve his country, he had taken a job in Kuwait with a private security company doing base security operations. He worked that job from December 23, 2009 - April 2010 when he was formally offered a spot to work as a civilian contractor in Afghanistan. Eddie Bryant worked biometric security on different bases throughout Afghanistan. On December 5th, 2010 a suicide bomber, in Paktiya Provence, Afghanistan, FOB Lightning, attacked his base, detonating a vest he was wearing approximately 150 feet from where Bryant was standing. This knocked him off his feet, and onto the ground. In the midst of the confusion Bryant, being a combat lifesaver, with real-life experience in combat first aid, ran to the assistance of both the U.S. Army Soldiers and wounded civilians to give first aid and help in the causality evacuation. Thus making it the second time he's had his qualification of combat life-saver put to use. He was then tasked with the assignment of trying to verify the terrorist using his bio-metric database and only having the terrorists decapitated head to do so. They spent days continually finding the remains of body parts throughout his compound. His company then decided to send him away for PTSD and more TBI testing back in the United States, putting him on an extended medical leave of absence until his timely delayed leave resulted in his being laid off permanently. At this time, he decided to start PTSD Survivors of America. It was eventually determined that Bryant was unable to return to Afghanistan as a civilian contractor.
Eddie Bryant has been treated for PTSD in the Veterans Hospital system since his return in 2007 and his main goal for starting PTSDSoA is to allow people to get the help and treatment that he feels is not available in traditional medical treatment of PTSD, as well as help reduce the stigmas associated with PTSD. Bryant is still, to this day, being treated for his PTSD, and every session he goes to he gains more experience on how to better help his fellow survivors of PTSD.
Eddie Bryant is currently a student at John Carroll University studying Psychology. His goal is to finish his masters degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and become a licensed counselor treating those with PTSD and other mental health issues. Eventually he wants to obtain his PsyD or PhD in Psychology and contribute to the field of Psychology that will one day figure out a cure for PTSD.
Below is a radio program that Eddie Bryant was recently on discussing his PTSD as well as the organization. Please take a listen as this will give you a better understanding of who Eddie Bryant is.