Hero is the word often used to describe individuals fighting wars on behalf of others, but what happens after the fight—after all the personal sacrifice?
Of course, not everyone survives combat missions, and for those who do manage to make it back home, it’s often just a matter of time before their lives are destroyed in some other way directly related to acquired and accumulated injuries, including deep psychological wounds.
The war within does not end in the barracks or on the battle field, says Sargent Gregory Floyd, because after the glory of heroic duty fades away, shattered lives emerge and the cry for help often gets pushed aside or even ignored by the military institutions they served.
A U.S. Marine, Sgt. Floyd (E5) was an enlisted non-commissioned officer. He’s an African-American veteran who grew up in Alabama and Georgia. Sgt. Floyd was the first African-American to achieve Helicopter Air Crewman of the Year while in the Marine Corps, and among the many honors attained while in service, Sgt. Floyd was awarded an Air Medal for flying combat missions in Beirut Lebanon.
While in the Marines, Floyd was the Crew Chief for Marine One—the US presidential helicopter—for 4 years, flying President Reagan.
Sgt. Floyd has been in public service for all of his adult life, including time served as a paramedic and fireman. Sgt. Floyd is also a retired police officer who served in that capacity over 15 years, with a career record that shows tremendous professionalism—in fact, he never once shot or anyone in the line of duty.
In the following podcast, Sgt. Floyd talks about his life as a veteran and the ongoing cascade of challenges that can often come with veteran life, including having to sometimes navigate and overwhelming and disheartening labyrinth of bureaucracy: