A United States Army captain from Cheshire is bringing the leadership skills he mastered on the battlefield to help his fellow veterans at home.
Justin Nash graduated from the prestigious United States Military Academy at West Point just a few months before 9/11.
“We were at school during a time of peace and we were immediately thrust into the throws of battle,” Nash said.
Nash said he moved up the ranks quickly and proudly led troops through the areas ravaged by war in the Middle East.
Nash was awarded several honors for his bravery including the Bronze Star. But, a shoulder injury and nerve damage in his elbows cut his military career short.
“To this day, I'm upset that I'm not able to serve. My body let me down,” Nash, who is a father of six, said. “The sense of purpose that comes with being a leader of men especially a leader of men in combat. That's a very difficult and challenging thing to step away from.
Nash said he struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder.
“About four or five years after I got home, things started to spiral out of control,” Nash said.
But, Nash renewed that sense of purpose off the battle field with a charity he started called 'Til Duty is Done. His wife Michelle Nash said his work for the organization saved him from the darkness of PTSD.
“He has his heart and soul into this organization,” Michelle Nash said.
It's a non-profit geared at reducing veteran homelessness, unemployment and helping them adjust back into civilian life.
“It's really our duty, our obligation, our responsibility, to serve our veterans as they transition, out and enter this very challenging environment,” Justin Nash said.
Justin Nash said that veterans should feel comfortable reaching out for help.
“I've been a leader of men. I've been strong and it's OK to admit defeat,” Justin Nash said. “It's OK to admit failure, it's ok to admit weakness. We're all here together. We're all in this fight together. And it affects us all.”
If you would like to learn more about 'Til Duty is Done, click here.
The organization has an event coming up called Vets Rock on Nov. 10 and 11 at Mohegan Sun. They have several workshops for veterans as well as a concert featuring Trace Adkins. For information on Vets Rock, click here.
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