Army Private First Class Jesse Woods joined the military out of North Carolina in 2004 because he felt that he could use his medical training as an EMT to bring more soldiers home to their families. He served active duty for nearly four years, then served in the Army Reserve for five years before being discharged in 2014.
Throughout his deployment, Private First Class Woods sustained many different injuries as he was under fire on many occasions. One of the worst incidents occurred in April of 2007, when he lost a fellow soldier and close friend in a rocket attack on his convoy.
Private First Class Woods suffers from severe post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI), chronic migraines, tinnitus and hearing loss.
The years of war in Afghanistan and Iraq have brought PTSD among military personnel to the attention of the American people as never before. Most PTSD sufferers repeatedly relive the trauma in their thoughts during the day and in nightmares when they sleep. While the condition varies from person to person, more and more studies have linked PTSD with chronic depression and suicidal ideation.
For his service to his country, Private First Class Woods has been awarded the Army Commendation Medal (3x), Army Achievement Medal (2x), Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, Army Service Ribbon (2x), Meritorious Unit Commendation, Combat Medical Badge, Parachutist Badge and the Basic Marksmanship Qualification Badge.
Private First Class Woods, his wife Meghan, and their daughter will be gifted a home in Casa Grande, Arizona in 2016.