Hello, my name is Specialist Tim Taylor, I am a U.S. Army and Iraq War veteran. I joined the Army at 17, back in July 2003. While serving with 3rd Infantry Division, out of Fort Stewart, GA, I was deployed to Baghdad, Iraq in January 2005. My unit was responsible for providing convoy escorts for the State Department, Department of Justice, Department of Treasury, and other government agencies.
On October 27, 2005, my vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb, known as an explosively formed penetrator, a particularly deadly I.E.D. After a brief period of unconsciousness, I regained my consciousness, only to realize my Lieutenant, Wes Knight, was injured. It took me a moment to realize the severity of the situation, as I didn’t notice my own injuries right away. Wes and I, would eventually be rushed to Cache 86 in Baghdad, in order to be stabilized, and then shortly after we were medevac’d to Germany, and ultimately ending up at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in D.C. That day left me with partial left hand amputation, severe damage to right hand, traumatic brain injury, PTSD, and numerous other injuries that have negatively impacted my life, and all before I was able to drink alcohol, legally.
I spent almost a year at Walter Reed. After dozens of surgeries, painstaking occupational and physical therapy, I was discharged from the Army after a little over three years of service. I was fortunate enough to have the love of my life, Tara, my wife, by my side through it all. Tara encouraged me to continue to push the limits of my mind and body, and motivated me to go to college. I went on to graduate from Saint Louis University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing.
Tara and I have three beautiful, sometimes insane, children, Adalyn, Delilah, and Maddox (Mad Max). Having children, while difficult, has made my recovery much easier. I finally felt that same sort of purpose I had in the military, and it also forced me to get up and get things done on those difficult days. It can be hard to be motivated when your neck, back, head, hands, and everything hurt, but I just think of setting good examples for my children, and it makes life a little easier.
I find extreme happiness in helping others. Currently, I work a Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist for a company that hires people with disabilities. I ensure managers are accommodating those diagnosed with disabilities, provide training for all local employees, and do outreach/recruiting. My plan is to continue working as long as my body will let me, then buy some land.
My wife was first introduced to JCS by Courtney Booher. Courtney was my wife’s substitute teacher, while she was on maternity leave. After several conversations with Tara, Courtney convinced Tara to consider JCS. I was hesitant at first, but Todd Nault asked the one question that changed my mind, “What will happen to your family, if something happened to you?” After that I decided that I would meet with Matt and Randy. They spoke about JCS as if it were a family, and liked that idea. The idea that someone would be there, not just for me, but for my wife and kids.
When you’re first injured you think of all the big changes that are going to take place immediately, but you don’t think of all the problems that await you in the future. This past year the arthritis in my hands became unbearable. Things like cutting the grass became the most painful activity in my life. While I tried to power through, it was impacting my life in a very negative way. My wife reached out to Todd, and without hesitation, the next week JCS had someone at the house, cutting the grass. It’s those small details that make me really appreciate JCS.
I don’t know what the future holds, but I feel some relief and comfort knowing JCS will always be there for my family.