Real People. Real Lives. Real Change.

Honoring the Real People Behind POW

PROFILE #2: Whitney Meyers

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I’m Whitney Meyers from Austin, Texas. At 19 I joined the Army as an 88 Mike (Motor Transport Operator) to make my dear old dad proud. I wanted to be able to go and protect my country. In 2003 I was deployed to Iraq with 123rd Main Support Battalion out of Dexheim Germany with First Armored Division. It was just before the surge and my first deployment. I deployed again in 2006, this time with the 96th Trans Unit out of Ft. Hood, Texas.

In 2007, my active military duty ended (ETS date) and I joined the Reserves. In 2011, I completed my military service all together. In total, I spent 8 years of my life in the U.S. Army. When I got out, I felt so happy; finally, I could do whatever I wanted.

Time went by and in 2010 I moved to San Diego, California with my husband. At this time we were both going through a lot of different things due to our time on the military. I realized that I was having problems with PTSD and was in denial (like a lot of other veterans). A buddy told my husband and I about P.O.W.

We meet Todd Vance, P.O.W.’s founder and head coach, through a friend and went and checked P.O.W out when they were still at the gym in North Park Gym. Instantly I was hooked. One of the things that really helped me was that Todd’s coaching reminded me so much of my squad leader and I just wanted to make him happy (and of course, myself). Meeting all of the people within the group made me feel as if I were back in a Platoon again. For me, this was very significant because I was having trouble not having the people whom I loved the most there for me anymore, i.e. military people. It’s very, very hard getting out and not having a ‘military family’ there anymore.

I started P.O.W while I was going through treatment for PTSD and going to school full-time. P.O.W. came along and I began feeling like I was back again, but with a lot more good times. Now, I am getting my head straight, getting all of my anger out and learning to make myself better. P.O.W. helped me get a sense of what I needed to do, and why, to stay on track. Doing that was amazing. I wish that I was still an active participant of P.O.W.


NOTE: Whitney Meyers is not related to Jordan Myers, subject of P.O.W. profile #2

whit in iraq (4)  Whitney Meyers 5

PROFILE 1: Jordan Myers

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In March 2013 I was honorably discharged from active duty Army after almost 9 years of service as an Infantryman. During that time I deployed once to Afghanistan and twice to Iraq for a totally of 36 months. I progressed to the rank of Staff Sergeant (E-6).

I found myself being extremely anti-social my first year out of the Army. The culture shock of leaving military life and starting civilian life was overwhelming. I really didn’t know anyone in San Diego and I found it extremely difficult to even just be around people and crowds, let alone have a conversation with them. I basically had an identity crisis and fell into a deep depression. I stayed home and drank heavily. It effected my grades and my relationships with others. Even my dog started to become aggressive because he was feeding off my negative energy.

I joined P.O.W. nearly two years ago. I hoped to gain back my physical strength, release that built-up aggression I was holding onto, and honestly, just to get out of the apartment I had been secluded to for so long.

What I found was that I was not alone in my personal struggles. These guys and girls where exactly like me. Through the training I found that brotherhood that I had previously only shared with people I deployed with. I found my strength again, both psychically and mentally. I got my confidence back. I got a better job. I got better grades at school. I was back on my feet.

I’m no saint, and I’m not completely better, but I now know who I am and what I need to do to accomplish my goals. I really don’t want to think about where or who I would be if I didn’t have the P.O.W. program and the individuals within it by my side. They mean the world to me. P.O.W. means the world to me. I would do anything to help my ‘brothers’ and ‘sisters’ and they would do the same for me.

I am currently attending San Diego City College as an undergraduate to complete the prerequisites required for a degree in food science with an emphasis on brewing and malting.