Maj. Jeff Hall on patrol in Iraq in March 2005. (Photo courtesy of Real Warriors Campaign)
“I was a broken man … helping others is my way of paying it forward.” — U.S. Army Maj. Jeff Hall
After two tours of duty in Iraq, Maj. Jeff Hall found himself coping with posttraumatic stress disorder, depression and thoughts of suicide. Jeff and his wife Sheri, volunteers for DCoE’s Real Warriors Campaign, shared their story in the Feb. 18 print issue of “People Magazine.”
The couple spoke candidly about how Jeff’s experiences during and after deployment affected their marriage and family life, their decision to seek psychological health care and how reaching out for help contributed to the long-term success of Jeff’s military career. Knowing Jeff needed help, Sheri mustered the courage to approach his commanding officer.
“He said the opposite of what Jeff feared most,” said Sheri. “He said, ‘we’re going to fix this.’”
With support from Jeff’s command, the Halls were able to get the care they needed — Jeff received treatment and got control of his suicidal urges. Currently serving at Rock Island Arsenal, Ill., Jeff said helping others is his way of paying it forward.
“I’m exactly where I need to be to finish my career,” he said. “I can look at a formation and pick out the people who are having trouble, because I can see myself in them. They always say, ‘I thought I was the only one.’”
In the article, the Halls emphasized the roles resilience and early intervention play in successful care, recovery and reintegration. The article directs readers to realwarriors.net, Military Crisis Line (800-273-8255) and the inTransition program (800-424-7877) where service members, veterans and military families can learn more about tools and resources available for psychological health care and support.
Visit realwarriors.net to learn more about Maj. Jeff Hall’s story and meet other service members who sought help for psychological health concerns.
Excerpt from People Magazine:
Jeff: One Morning I lay on the floor in the kitchen in my uniform and couldn’t get up. I’d hit rock bottom. “I’ve got to make this end,” I kept thinking. “I’m not going to be able to win this. It’s getting worse.”
Sheri: I’m an Army wife; I don’t complain. And I don’t go to the commander for anything. But I finally told Jeff I was going to call. Jeff said, “My career is over.” When I got the colonel on the phone, I said, “We have to do something. Jeff isn’t well.” He said the opposite of what Jeff feared most. He said, “We’re going to fix this.”