Upon returning from Iraq I remember we went out to get some fast food and while we were standing in line one of the workers slammed the freezer door and Todd and I instinctively and uncontrollably crouched our heads. We were both completely startled. We looked at each other, hearts pounding, and our eyes wide. I knew he was feeling the same thing as me. That was my first experience with PTSD. Things like that experience are still happening to me frequently. That was in 2004, it hasn’t gotten any better. Slamming doors and the air brakes on trucks are the two things that “get me” the most.

I know that Todd is doing a lot of good for the guys he is working with and they are doing a lot of good for him. I know this because of what we have done for each other. We Veterans, we need the support of each other. The relationship is never one directional. There have been many lonely nights I have sent Todd a text that says something like, “hey bud, I’m at the bar, surrounded by people and completely alone.” He always finds a way to remind me that no matter the distance between us he is always there. It’s a bond we will always have and one that I know he is developing with the guys on his crew. It is what makes his program the success that it is. Todd provides the bond we seek.


US Army 2002-2008

Infantry Squad Leader/ SSG

Iraq 2004-2005 CurrentlyVeterans Peer Outreach             Specialist Courage to Call/VVSD  

POW: I came to POW as the result of a fellow combat veteran who talked about POW with tremendous enthusiasm and love. Missing the brotherhood of the military and the physical challenges it provided I jumped. POW is an open environment of mutual respect and love. Fellow veterans push and support you through the practices, as well as, through your daily lives. Todd is a natural leader and facilitates a program the is unique and fills a huge gap in the care of veterans. By employing the peer-to-peer model and recreational therapy, Todd has succeeded in providing a program that this generation of combat veterans has asked for and not been given. Outside of the ring, the brotherhood of POW reaches out to one another, completing a trinity of care by providing continual support through various forms. Most importantly, for me, POW has given me an opportunity to face the anger inside of me in a healthy way. I have been able to open myself up and address the warrior within without becoming the monster that had to be in Iraq in order to survive.

After my last tour I decided to get out and go to schoolAll went well for the first year, i started training MMA and BJJ at Infinity Jiu Jitsu and things were great. my girlfriend introduced me to the POW crew and the void of camaraderie was no longer there. I made great friends and looked forward to training every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. After dealing with dead end jobs time after time, a few of the POW crew members told me about a corrections academy. I enrolled into it and with the support of my girlfriend, family and POW I successfully completed the course and with the guidance of another POW member I was able to find a job.Now more than ever I am focused more on MMA.-Erik Cortez """

On deployment I went on over 100 foot patrols, being point man sweeping for IED’s. Finding over 25 IED’s and 10 weapon and ammunition caches, and a lot more. After returning I started to notice that I was a very different person and after having several panic attacks and violent outburst that I ended up blacking out from. I was confronted by family to get help. I started to see a therapist 3 times a week and heard about the POW program, so I contacted Todd and haven’t left the program since then. Best thing that could have happened to me. Joel Graf

Angel Flores:(Army Combat Vet-student)

It's the link between the unspoken struggle only the members of the armed forces can understand and the path to what we call peace. We get to fight together instead of alone.

Aaron Espinoza (Marine Combat Vet-Student)

It's more than just coming and working out with each other. It's our success and growth as a team that is a positive that can help each and everyone's self growth. It's having a brother or sister to confide in that you can talk to about anything that understands you.

Travis Henschel Thank you for giving me that purpose and self motivation again in life, first time in three years after my injuries in Iraq that my family is seeing a mental change for the good! I am proof this program works and will continue through the physical pain to reach myself again....THE MORE YOU SWEAT THE LESS YOU BLEED!!!!!!