Jarod Myers - Graduate

May 11, 2011
Jarod Myers
Jarod Myers - Graduate

Jarod Myers has a hard time imagining his life without the Wounded Warrior Program.

Now working for Tex Vet, a non-profit resource for veterans in Texas, Myers looks back on his fellowship as a formative experience. "This program has done so much for me as an individual," he says. "It has unequivocally allowed me to grow as a person and as a professional. I really do not know where I would be or who I would be if I hadn't come on board."

Myers's path to the Wounded Warrior Program began after his deployment to Iraq. He found himself at a medical installment in Germany, angry, dejected and feeling alone in the world. The Army Corporal knew there were many other soldiers who felt the same way, so he decided to do something about it.

"I petitioned my superiors and asked to start a new program," Myers said. "I basically became a caseworker for people that really didn't have anyone to talk to — wounded soldiers who didn't feel comfortable talking to someone who hadn't been there."

In addition to counseling soldiers, airmen and Marines, Myers made flight arrangements for families to visit their loved ones in Germany.

Before Myers started the program, he said, little emotional support was offered to soldiers who often spent months recovering at the base. "You could tell that they needed to talk to someone. I knew it was important for these guys to learn how to cope," he said.

Talking to his fellow soldiers also helped Myers, 24, bounce back from a profound depression, he said.

"It was very therapeutic for me too. I just told them, 'This is what I'm dealing with and maybe we can help each other.'"

Nine months after he founded the program, Myers was medically discharged from the Army. Soon after, he moved back to his native Indiana and worked at a prosthetics company.

But he didn't know what his next step would be.

He married and moved to Texas, where he began searching for a "bigger" opportunity and, through the Veterans Affairs (VA) website, discovered the Wounded Warrior Program.

Shortly after he applied Myers was accepted into the program and hired as a veteran's caseworker in the office of Rep. John Carter. "I feel like I've really come full circle," he said of the fellowship. "It was a great opportunity for me and I was able to help some of the guys navigate the often difficult VA's system."

In his current job with Tex Vet, Myers promotes Texas organizations that assist veterans. It is an ideal job for Myers, a way to continue the meaningful work he began as a Wounded Warrior Program fellow.