When someone experiences some type of tragedy whether to their self or someone else, that experience leaves an impression on those involved in the event for the rest of their life. What makes each person different is how the experience manifests itself over time. Some people internalize and bury the memory of the event while others may drink or take drugs to suppress the memories. I personally experienced my own tragedy 30 years ago when I was involved in an accident that left me paralyzed. At first, I was sure that what I had been through previously as a firefighter and medic in the Army, that I could handle my own accident. No sweat! Man was I wrong! 5 Years after my accident I lost my father to cancer and from that point on I began experiencing depression. Over the years, instead of drinking and drugging, I worked on my career and being the best in my profession as a way to ignore what had happened. As long as I was working the accident never crossed my mind. Having reached my career goals, I began looking for other outlets to keep my mind occupied. That led me to a goal I had many years ago of obtaining my degree, which I did. I completed my degrees with American Military University which not only provided me with academic goals but also reconnected me to the military communities I enjoyed so much prior to my accident. Rejoining the military community meant that I was being exposed to all kinds of people many of which had been deployed overseas and fought in wars. This left many of those people broken mentally, physically or both. Getting to know these wounded warriors better, I came to understand my own mental health. I began to understand that what I have been dealing with over the course of 30 years is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and the depression I experience is a symptom of this disorder. Today, I am still searching for that next goal which will help me to keep moving forward. The painting in this fundraiser is part of that discovery process and one that I hope continues. Painting has provided me with a way to clear my mind and not sweat the little things. This particular painting is one of my happy places. When I am stressed or depressed I like to visit this place in my mind. My hope is that this painting will aid in raising money that will go towards helping those that are in need of help, mentally, physically, medically and spiritually. THANK YOU!