U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Auburn) recognizes a different Alabama veteran every month for their service and contribution to their community.
He awarded December's "Veteran of the Month" distinction to U.S. Army Veteran Specialist Matt Brannon of Boaz.
The video begins with Brannon dicussing mental health, saying, "I was in a pretty dark place when I got back, and I found that getting outdoors and hunting and fishing was my therapy, my release from the world. So I wanted to get more involved, and I did."
Tuberville begins by also mentioning veterans' mental health by saying, "Many of our veterans carry both visible and invisible scars from their time in the military."
"Matt vividly remembers, as a young man, watching the events of 9/11 unfold. This inspired him to join the military in 2007 after graduating from Boaz High School. Matt was wounded in action by an RPG explosion, receiving wounds to his face, arms and hands. He continued to fight even after sustaining injuries, saving the lives of many of his fellow soldiers. Matt was awarded a Purple Heart for his heroic actions," Tuberville says.
In 2012, Brannon began working in law enforcement.
"I had missed the camaraderie of the military, of that brotherhood and law enforcement kinda gave me that back, it gave me a sense of team again," he states in the video.
Feeling lost and not fully recovered from the experiences of war, Brannon founded an organization called "Wounded Warriors in Action Foundation."
Discussing the organization, Brannon says, "What we do is we serve Purple Heart recipients. We take them on hunting and fishing trips all throughout the United States. We do 47 events in 35 states."
He adds, "Our mission is to heal the veteran that's been wounded, through the power of the outdoors. Just getting them away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and taking them out to a ranch or lodge somewhere and keeping them there for a weekend around like-minded veterans who have also been wounded."
Tuberville concludes, "Matt also serves as a narcotics agent with the Bureau of Special Investigations arm of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency. He is on the frontlines keeping our communities safe from deadly drugs like fentanyl."
"Every time I'm able to help a veteran, a combat wounded veteran that might be struggling or going through what I went through, it just further fuels my desire to help more, to do more," Brannon adds.
Twenty-two veterans a day lose the battle to Post Traumatic Stress. If you or someone you know are struggling or having suicidal thoughts, you can reach out to your local emergency services or call the Veteran's Crisis Line by dialing 988 or texting 838255.
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