Brian Paul enjoyed success in both the military and in his time as a Firefighter and EMT but like many others, he ran head on into serious and life threatening problems largely due to his “no quit” personality. He believed in his mission of service even when he knew it was costing him his health and eventually would likely cost him his life.
Brian began dealing with the extreme stresses of his job by self-medicating with alcohol. This, coupled with extraordinary stress from being a first responder, led him to a very real and dangerous problem with post-traumatic stress known as PTSD. This problem led to not only rapidly deteriorating health but also to divorce and even homelessness. Brian was simply fighting for his life.
With God’s help and the help of his family, Brian was finally able to find the correct and proper help he desperately needed and with very little time to spare.
Brian went through a intensive 90 day treatment program in the Smokey Mountains that dealt with his PTSD and alcohol problems simultaneously. Brian was extremely successful with this treatment for three main reasons:
- He was finally receiving the correct and proper treatment specifically for him.
- He used the same intense focus and determination that made him a successful soldier and firefighter and directed it forwards his treatment.
- He had a unbreakable connection with his higher power as he viewed it.
Brian has been sober, happy, and successful since Nov. 20 2015 and focuses sharply on helping fellow soldiers and first responders, including law enforcement, avoid and overcome similar serious obstacles he himself has experienced and overcome.
Brian began his service on a dark night at Ft. Benning, Ga. when he stepped off a bus at the age of 20 to begin his service in the OKANG infantry. He served as a rifleman, machine gunner, and mortarman in the 45th Infantry Division. Brian later went on to serve as a rifle platoon leader with the C. Co 1/179 (air-assault) as well as platoon leader with A. Co. 1/180th (TOW anti-armor). Brian successfully led these units while also attending college as a ROTC cadet at the Univ. of Central Oklahoma and was an active member of the Oklahoma National Guards mentorship program and as a Captain of a Ranger Challenge competitive military team. Brian was sent to the Alfred P. Murrah bombing site in OKC soon after the terroristic events unfolded on April 19th 1995 and earned the State Activation Medal as well as the Army Humanitarian Medal for his efforts at ground zero. Brian was awarded a discharge after graduating from the Univ. of Central Okla. earning a bachelor of science degree with a focus on military science.
Brian continued his service in the Kansas City area as a volunteer firefighter, part time firefighter, and finally a full time (paid) firefighter. Brian also served as a full time EMT throughout his time as a firefighter. Brian later continued his service in EMS as a EMS evaluator for the Missouri EMS Association licensing board under national registry curriculum.