News Stories

NWDC Guest Speaker Series: Wounded Warrior Shares “Learning to Deal with Outcomes”

by From Staff Reports
28 June 2021 Retired U.S. Marine Dan Miller will share his thoughts on “Learning to Deal with Outcomes” with a Navy Warfare Development Command (NWDC) audience July 1.
“The Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) gave my children their father back,” Miller said. “They helped me keep driving forward, convinced me not to quit, and helped me continue to establish my history.”
Miller believes everyone is a product of their own history. His began in Chicago, Illinois, with the realization of his dream to be in the military. He served in many roles and deployed numerous times, including once during Desert Storm and twice in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. When he retired in 2015, he had given 30 years of service to his country – five years on active duty and 25 years as a reservist. While in the reserves, he also served his community for 21 years as a law enforcement officer, leaving as a patrol officer.
Miller says his service took its toll on him. “When you see the destruction, the lives lost, the sacrifices, and the suffering, it changes you,” he said. “But when it was happening, I didn’t have time to process it. I had to bury it, because there was the ever-present danger of ambushes, rocket, mortar, or improvised explosive device (IED) attacks.”
Following his retirement as a sergeant major, Miller was diagnosed with traumatic brain injury (TBI) and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). As his pain and anguish grew, he was ready to give up on life. One night, as he held his pistol to his head, he saw a brochure on the seat of the car for WWP.
“On the cover was a picture of a warrior who had lost his legs; yet, he was still working out in a gym,” Miller remembers. “If he could do that, how could I give up? I wasn’t going to deny my problems anymore. I reached out to WWP and began my journey to find my new normal with their help, love, and support.”
As he immersed himself in WWP programs, he flourished, finding the camaraderie he missed and developing new friendships. His transformation was almost complete as he found his new purpose — being there for the next group of warriors who are struggling as he once was and helping them find peace.
“I tell my fellow warriors that I will pick them up and put them on my shoulders. We move forward together. If I begin to falter, another veteran will come along and help us both. Together we will reach our place of love and safety. Because we are, and always will be, family.”
For more information on Miller or WWP, visit www.woundedwarriorproject.org.
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NWDC develops and integrates innovative solutions to complex naval warfare challenges to enhance current and future warfighting capabilities. Command professionals are focused on operational-level concept generation, warfighting development, and cross-domain integration to strengthen U.S. Navy warfighting.