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Real Warriors Campaign

Text on banner: Real Warriors, Real Battles, Real Strength

The Real Warriors Campaign promotes a culture of support for psychological health by encouraging the military community to reach out for help whether coping with the daily stresses of military life, or concerns like depression, anxiety and posttraumatic stress disorder. Founded in 2009, the campaign supports the Defense Department's Psychological Health Center of Excellence in its mission to break the stigma associated with psychological health concerns and encourage those who are coping with a psychological health concern to seek help. The campaign links service members, veterans and their families with care and provides free, confidential resources including online articles, print materials, videos and podcasts. If you or someone you know is coping with any concerns, know that reaching out is a sign of strength.


Psychological Health Resource Center (PHRC) Live Chat - Visit the 24/7 PHRC Live Chat to speak directly with a trained psychological health resource consultant. Conversations are free and confidential.

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29 Sec PSA: Retired Maj. Jeremy Haynes

Video
6/21/2021
29 Sec PSA: Retired Maj. Jeremy Haynes

After being shot four times in Afghanistan, Retired Maj. Jeremy Haynes faced thoughts of depression and suicide on his path to physical recovery. However, after reaching out for support from his wife and healthcare providers, Maj. Jeremy Haynes began to heal his visible and invisible wounds of war.

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29 Sec PSA: I Can, I Will

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6/21/2021
29 Sec PSA: I Can, I Will

Military life is rewarding, but it isn’t always easy. But I Can, I Will stay mission ready. Take the first step.

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59 Sec PSA: Retired Gunnery Sgt. Mathew Barr

Video
6/21/2021
59 Sec PSA: Retired Gunnery Sgt. Mathew Barr

For 10 years, Retired Gunnery Sgt. Mathew Barr struggled with flashbacks of an IED explosion and survivor guilt from combat. After he reached out for support, counselors, chaplains and health care providers like LCDR Hanrahan helped set him on a path to success.

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Video Profile: Technical Sgt. Joshua Williamson

Video
6/21/2021
Video Profile: Technical Sgt. Joshua Williamson

After hitting rock bottom, Technical Sgt. Joshua Williamson decided to reach out for help for alcohol misuse. With support from his family, friends and healthcare providers, Technical Sgt. Joshua Williamson completed his second round of ADAPT, and is now sharing messages of strength with his military brothers and sisters.

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Video Profile: Retired Maj. Ed Pulido

Video
6/21/2021
Video Profile: Retired Maj. Ed Pulido

Wounded by an IED blast in Iraq, Retired Maj. Ed Pulido returned home facing tremendous physical and psychological challenges, including thoughts of suicide. What turned things around for him was reaching out for and accepting support from others, and focusing on helping service members and families in similar circumstances.

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Video Profile: Retired 1st Sgt. Simon Sandoval

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6/21/2021
Video Profile: Retired 1st Sgt. Simon Sandoval

After losing Marines in Iraq and Afghanistan, Retired 1st Sgt. Sandoval began drinking heavily, lost interest in maintaining his health and fitness, and pulled away from family and friends. Eventually, by opening up and sharing his experiences, he began to turn his life back around.

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29 Sec PSA: Retired 1st Sgt. Simon Sandoval

Video
6/21/2021
29 Sec PSA: Retired 1st Sgt. Simon Sandoval

After losing Marines in Iraq and Afghanistan, Retired 1st Sgt. Sandoval began drinking heavily, lost interest in maintaining his health and fitness, and pulled away from family and friends. Eventually, by opening up and sharing his experiences, he began to turn his life back around.

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Real Warriors Campaign

29 Sec PSA: Retired Sgt. 1st Class David Parish

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6/21/2021
29 Sec PSA: Retired Sgt. 1st Class David Parish

After surviving a suicide attempt, Retired Sgt. 1st Class David Parish was determined to let his fellow warriors know about the importance of striving for progress, not perfection and reaching out for support from the Military Health System.

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Video Profile: Staff Sgt. Brittany Johnson

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6/21/2021
Video Profile: Staff Sgt. Brittany Johnson

Staff Sgt. Brittany Johnson spent years reliving memories of her sexual assault. By seeking care, Staff Sgt. Johnson learned what triggered her and how to cope when memories resurfaced. Hear how Staff Sgt. Johnson turned a traumatic event into an opportunity to share her story and help others.

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Video Profile: Maj. General David Blackledge

Video
6/21/2021
Video Profile: Maj. General David Blackledge

While commanding the Army's civil affairs forces in Iraq, then-Brig. Gen. Blackledge was wounded twice. Even after healing physically, he continued to experience psychological wounds that eventually led him to seek help for PTSD and share his story.

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Video Profile: Lt. Col Iwona Blackledge

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6/21/2021
Video Profile: Lt. Col Iwona Blackledge

As a nurse deployed numerous times in Africa and the Middle East, Air Force Lt. Col. Blackledge saw many casualties and cared for wounded warriors and civilians alike. Her story sheds light on the important psychological health needs of warrior caregivers.

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Video Profile: Retired Sgt. Josh Hopper

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6/21/2021
Video Profile: Retired Sgt. Josh Hopper

Retired U.S. Marine Sgt. Hopper saw combat from the front lines during two tours in Iraq. While there, he experienced wounds and traumatic brain injury from IED blasts. Returning home, he faced new challenges as a result of PTSD.

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I Can, I Will

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6/21/2021
I Can, I Will

Military life is rewarding, but it isn’t always easy. But I Can, I Will know the signs, seek care early, talk to my health care provider. Take the first step.

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Video Profile: Capt. Joshua Mantz

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6/21/2021
Video Profile: Capt. Joshua Mantz

While on patrol in Iraq, a single sniper’s bullet severely wounded Capt. Mantz and killed his comrade. Although a devastating event, Mantz experienced no long-term psychological trauma from it thanks to preventive mental health care he received while hospitalized for his physical injuries.

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Real Warriors and Reintegration

Video
6/21/2021
Real Warriors and Reintegration

Returning home from combat or other deployments can be joyful and, sometimes, challenging. Difficulty reintegrating can increase stress and make it harder to cope with invisible wounds. In this video, warriors and family members share their reintegration experiences.

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Real Warriors Campaign
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Last Updated: January 27, 2022

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