Pieces of a Past - One Woman's Loss

"We have two sons in heaven. Two boys we will never meet here on earth, never hold, and never kiss the cheeks of. Two boys who we will never celebrate first birthdays, first steps, or first days of kindergarten with. We had four pregnancies in three years, two of which we walked the complicated path of loss with, and the other two we walked the heart wrenching NICU journey with. It was obvious my emotions were not what they use to be.

I couldn't control my depression. I had severe flashbacks of the losses and the trauma, as well as trauma from the scary NICU journey with both of our babies. My mind was not ok. My body was a mess and healing would require much patience, grace, and time. My emotions were all over the place. I felt everything and yet nothing all at the same time. After being diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as well as Postpartum Depression (PPD), I was put on medication which would help me be level minded. Reaching out for help and knowing the fog that consumed me needed to be cleared was a huge turning point in my life, my marriage, and in my role as a mommy. By stepping out, talking, and asking for help for me, I was being the best I could be for them.

I had the opportunity to speak with my cousin on the subject while she was in the midst of filming "Stronger". This project provides a safe haven for those who suffer from PTSD to stand up without negative connotations placed on them, judgement cast, or fear of rejection in sharing how their lives have been effected by this disorder. The flashbacks, nightmares, sounds, and everything that sets off triggers are not things to be ashamed of. They are pieces. Pieces of life. Pieces of reality. Pieces of a past that makes us who we are today.

Being able to be involved in the Stronger project has been a positive thing for me. It has allowed me to work through the trauma I've faced emotionally, knowing that it can maybe help another one day. It has helped me spiritually to be able to pray through it, knowing others will one day walk a path similar to mine. It has allowed me to pray over others' futures with a desire to see perseverance and faith grow from these experiences. This project has allowed me to step out and share my story without fear of judgement and follow it up by boldly stating that through it all I AM STRONGER."

- Heather Pearson, Wife & Mommy

A Unique Perspective - Actor & Navy Vet

" Back when I was contacted about playing the part of Mark, I was truly honored and grateful for this amazing opportunity. I spoke with Carla and Robin on the phone about the direction they wanted Mark to go, and it made me feel like I might have fun playing this role. In some ways I was that guy many, many moons ago.

As time went on and I read the scene over and over again, I started to feel more of the hurt and anger Mark possessed from the direction his life took when he lost his first love to some military guy. Many relationships have been destroyed because of modern day social media and messaging. The easy access and the almost addictive nature of it has brought the past into the present, and sometimes the Devil wins by planting seeds that cause issues for all involved. I've been the victim of the Marks of the world, as have lots of other folks out there, so seeing it through Mark's eyes helped in relating to his justification of doing what he does. 

Upon arrival to start filming and meeting everyone for the first time, I knew God spoke not only through me, but through the team as they felt the same about making changes in how Mark should be played. After Carla gave a wonderful prayer you could truly feel God's presence in that little coffee shop. Angela (Michelle) was so amazing and helped calm my fear with complete understanding, and Robin's coaching and complete faith in me helped so much.

As a Navy Vet and current employee with the VA, I've seen first hand the many families that have been split down the middle because of the stress of being deployed overseas and fighting the war that comes home behind closed doors. Growing up and seeing some of my own family members that served over the years suffering mental depression/PTSD really made this movie near and dear to my heart. This growing issue needs to be given more national attention than it has been.... 22 isn't just a number. It's a reminder that our heroes need our help, and this movie will do just that.

God Bless and remember, Together We are Stronger. "

- Phillip Hughes, Actor in Stronger Movie

I Will Intervene - Armed Forces Mission


"I received a call from a lady who had gotten my name in a Bible study. She heard about a boy who was skipping school. He'd been cutting (not as typical of males) and was being bullied. She did not know his name, but reached out to me because she heard that he was also suicidal. I called the county resource officer (Sheriff's Deputy) at the school where she said the boy attended hoping the R.O. could cross reference absentees. The R.O. called me back to tell me they had located the boy; he was suicidal and the parents are now working with school counselors to get him the help he needs. Now here is the incredible part of the story. The first lady called me back to say she had made a mistake. She had given me the wrong school. The boy the Resource Officer found was a different boy. Talk about a Divine Error. (a Romans 8:28 moment) Here's the facts: 1 out of 7 teens have thought of suicide and 1 in 12 have actually attempted suicide. Few wonder why I am always harping on the importance of getting the training that saves lives. I ask people all the time, "Do you know the risk and signs to look for? Would you know what to do if you did?" If the answer is No. We encourage folks to take the I Will Intervene Challenge or help organize a Challenge in their community. Hopefully, one day we will get to Texas and get the Challenge going there!"

- Ken Koon of Armed Forces Mission

Tomorrow May Never Come - Realities of an EMT

"The call came and someone needed help. We loaded up in the truck and out we ran, not knowing yet what we were responding to.

When the call comes in we never stop to ask, who's calling, what is their age, what is their gender, what is their race or why are they calling, we just go.

We took a silent oath and chose a career that gets little thanks, an expectation rather than an little appreciation. We get yelled at, spit at, hit and sometimes even worse dare we not say.

We never know what a shift will entail. Will it be non-eventful or will it be non stop. Will we come home tomorrow or will this be our last call.

When did what we do, no longer make a difference? When did people stop caring so much that our responding to their emergency became an inconvenience?

When the men and women responded that day to the towers being hit, did they pause and say, "oh no we can't go because we might get hurt"? No, they responded not just because it's our job, but for the love of human kind.

The deep burning passion to help another human. One in need, one who needs your assistance, your experience but mostly your compassion.

Through the years many have served and sadly many have died, serving and helping others. Not for the money, not for the glory, but because of a deep burning passion inside to help, to give, to love.

Let us remember all of our fallen brothers and sisters. Let us dig deep into our souls and learn to love one another again and not take a day for granted, for tomorrow may never come.

Dedicated to all the men and women who have served in the military or as first responders.
To all the folks in life who have given unconditionally.
To those who have given their life for the greater act of kindness and the love of God."

- Paul Adams, EMT