I’m a day Read more [...]
My name is Dominic Franco. I born and raised in Corpus Christi, Texas. I joined the Army my Junior year in high school at 17 in 2002. I spent that summer in Ft. Sill at boot camp finished my Senior year then back to Ft. Sill for Artillery training. Above you’re looking at my at my lowest and NOW.. I was ready to deploy on OEF orders but was set back due to a very bad car accident on my way up to Ft. Hood. I was forced to medically retire 3 years after my accident due to the multiple physical injuries, a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Post Traumatic Epilepsy (PTE) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
The same year that I experienced the worst event that has ever happened to me, I experienced the best. I was blessed with my son. Jaw wired-shut, wheelchair and all, I was in that hospital room for his birth!
I began my recovery at Fort Sam (in San Antonio, Texas) as part of the Wounded Warrior Project. Every weekend I would throw my wheelchair in my car and drive home to Corpus Christi to be with my newborn son. In 2007 I was able to continue my physical and occupational therapy in Corpus so I could see my son daily. After about three years, including 8 weeks at the TBI clinic at the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Houston, I was — for the most part — physically rehabilitated. I am forever grateful to the military and military personnel for providing me with such quality care.
After being forced to medically retire I gradually lost my way. I enlisted in the military with intention of making it a lifelong career. I loved what I did and had full intention of working my ass off, paying my dues and rising in the ranks. I had no idea what to do with my life post military. I enrolled in school but with my TBI I encountered many obstacles which was discouraging. It was very frustrating. Those issues aside, I was still a dad and I had to raise my son. I loved and enjoyed every second of raising my son. But on the weekends when I didn’t have him I partied too much and drank more than I should have in poor attempt to cope with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Four years went by. Then two things happened. I read a quote that said, ‘Be the person the younger you would look up to.’ I remember thinking, ‘Forget me as a kid, I need to be the person MY SON is proud to look-up to!’ I had also seen photo of myself. I was fat. Unhealthy. Out of shape. I never chose to see myself until that moment.
I traded out my negative coping mechanism for weight training. I closed down the gym on the weekends instead of the bars. And it didn’t take long to see the physical and mental improvements. A year later I decided I wanted to help other people achieve their fitness/healthy lifestyle goals, and became a personal trainer.
I will always be a work in progress. I will never stop trying to improve myself. But I am proud of the work I have put-in to get here. I am proud to be a positive role model to my son.
I am a Proud Veteran that loves to lift.
I know there are many of you out there with your own story, and who feel the same. If desired, know you always have an outlet here to share your story and inspire others.