Local

October 5, 2012

Football legend still star

Herschel Walker sits in an F-16 Fighting Falcon while Maj. Matt Busch, 56th Training Squadron assistant director of operations, explains the controls of the aircraft Sept. 21 at Luke Air Force Base. Walker spoke at Luke in partnership with The Freedom Care Program Anti-Stigma Campaign and visited the flightline.

Living with any kind of disorder is not ideal, and it’s harder with dissociative identity disorder. One football player with DID visited Luke Air Force Base Sept. 21, to increase awareness and let others know it’s OK to seek help.

“I couldn’t have made it through without help,” said Hershel Walker, former NFL running back for the Dallas Cowboys. “I got help from God and my doctor.”

Walker came to Luke as part of the Freedom Care Anti-stigma Campaign that partnered with Tri-care to tour military installations across the country.

“Mental illness and substance disorders continue to carry a stigma in our society and especially in the military community where members are taught to be independent and tough,” according to the anti-stigma campaign. “Asking for help is not a sign of weakness, but many of our warriors don’t know this.”

Walker visits military installations to share his personal story and experience with mental illness while delivering an important message to the troops saying, “There is no shame in asking for help, I did.”

But Walker didn’t start by addressing mental disorders. He started at the beginning by talking about when he began his football career.

“In high school I started playing football so I wouldn’t have to wash dishes,” he said. “I hate doing dishes, and if I was busy with football, my mom wouldn’t have me do them. I was wrong.”

He didn’t know anything about football when he started. He had never watched a game. After high school he went to play for the University of Georgia.

“I remember getting a letter in the mail from Georgia to be [at the school] at five,” Walker said. “I wanted to be early; I have a habit of being on time. So I got up at two a.m. and started driving. I got to the University of Georgia about three thirty in the morning, but I didn’t know where to go, and it was dark outside. About four a.m. it’s still dark and there are no cars coming up. By four forty-five, it’s still dark outside and there are still no cars. So, I started to wonder if I was in the right place. I got out of my car and ran up to the cafeteria thinking I must be late. Posted on the door was a letter like the one I got. It read 5 p.m., so I was a little early.”

Walker talked about his trials during college and how he made it into the NFL. In his 12 NFL seasons, Walker gained 8,225 rushing yards, 4,859 receiving yards, and 5,084 kickoff-return yards. This ranked him second among the NFL’s all-time leaders in total yardage when he retired. At the start of the 2007 NFL season, ten years after his retirement, he still ranked eighth. He also scored 84 touchdowns: 61 rushing, 21 receiving and returned two kickoffs for touchdowns. Walker is the only other player besides Derrick Mason to have 10,000-plus yards from scrimmage and 5,000-plus return yards, all of which were on kickoff returns.

Then he turned to more serious matters.

“I had a problem. I didn’t know it at the time, but I did,” he said. “As I was leaving the NFL, my ex-wife told me about things I did. I told her I would never do that. She said I would pace the bed at night. She even said I had threatened to kill her a few times.”

Because of this and other experiences, Walker sought help.

“My doctor told me I had DID,” he said. “That’s the new name for multiple personality disorder. And I got the help I needed. There is no shame in that. There is nothing wrong with asking for help when you need it.”

Walker was grateful to be able to come to Luke, but he wasn’t the only one excited by the visit.

“It was awesome,” said Staff Sgt. John Askew 56th Maintenance Operation Squadron Plans and Scheduling. “I’m from Texas and a huge Dallas Cowboys fan, so seeing him and having him talk about the Cowboys was great, it made my day.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Pg-1-Standalone---140411-F-HT977-026

Weather: Exercise component

First responders prepare to transport a simulated injured patient during an extreme weather exercise April 11 at Luke Air Force Base. The exercise was designed to train and evaluate Luke Airmen on readiness and preparation for ...
 
 
Courtesy photo

Plane crash, coma doesn’t deter pilot

Courtesy photo Retired Capt. David Berling, 56th Contracting Squadron contract specialist, stands in front of his 1977 Cessna RG March 23, 2012, at the Glendale Airport. Berling lost his legs in a 2007 plane crash, the subject ...
 
 

Comprehensive support system helps unit resiliency

In today’s Air Force environment of force restructure, budgetary constraints, continued mission requirements and resiliency, establishing a comprehensive support system in a unit is absolutely essential for success. Each organizational tier, whether at the element, flight or squadron level, must be resilient and have support mechanisms in place to not only meet, but exceed daily...
 

 

Preparing for next rank makes successful Airmen

As Airmen we have many responsibilities and duties we must carry out in accordance with our jobs. According to AFI 36-2618, The Enlisted Force Structure, our responsibilities are as follows: junior enlisted Airmen initially focus on adapting to military requirements, achieving occupational proficiency and learning how to become highly productive members of the Air Force....
 
 
Senior Airman
JASON COLBERT

Energy office helps keep lights on

Senior AirmanJASON COLBERT Master Sgt. Adam Kelley, 56th Civil Engineer Squadron base energy manager, explains the value of low wattage light bulbs to Robert Wimp at the Energy Conservation Month booth April 9 at Luke Air Force...
 
 

News Briefs April 18, 2014

Change of command Lt. Col. Jon Wheeler relinquishes command of the 310th Fighter Squadron to Lt. Col. Matthew Warner at 8:31 a.m. today in Hangar 913. Days of Remembrance The 2014 Days of Remembrance of the Holocaust Victims is May 2 at Club Five Six. A Holocaust exhibit of masks of holocaust survivors and paintings...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin