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The Will to Persevere

(U.S. Air Force graphic by Airman 1st Class Nilsa E. Garcia)

(U.S. Air Force graphic by Airman 1st Class Nilsa E. Garcia)

MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. --

Maj. Tim Brunson, 22nd Medical Group education and training flight commander, served at McConnell as a nurse a year ago when he realized that some mental trauma he normalized as everyday thoughts were anything but normal.

 

Brunson was dealing with mental trauma dating back to his early childhood. In an effort to cope with his internal battle, he began down a destructive path to overcome his pain — and knew he needed help.

 

“I had some concerning thoughts, so I went to see mental health regardless of the rumors that I knew were going to spread,” said Brunson.

 

After several treatments, Brunson was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. Reflecting back earlier to his career as an enlisted Airman, he thought his internal struggles were just another issue he had to deal with as part of his everyday life. Upon his diagnosis, he agreed to receive care from an inpatient facility.

 

Reaching out for help was one of the most challenging life experiences for Brunson. But he knew that the benefits of seeking help far out-weighed the cost of continuing destructive habits.

“I went and embraced the treatment,” said Brunson. “I spent the next 30 days hearing others’ stories and talking about my experiences.”

 

According to Brunson, he had to be honest and upfront to get the help he needed. Brunson’s treatment helped him persevere through the most challenging time within his career.

 

“I feel my relationships have improved significantly, my performance has become what it used to be and overall, I’m a much better Airman, husband, father and friend,” said Brunson.

 

With the continuous support from Brunson’s family, friends, coworkers and Air Force supporting agencies, he was able to push through and become a healthier version of himself.

 

“I just think people need to be brutally honest with themselves,” said Brunson. “I have been given a [second] chance to become a better Airman and I believe I truly have become that.”