Thank You

First things first, if you are reading this I truly thank you. Thank you for visiting my website and supporting me. It is because of people like you that I push myself to do everything I can on this crazy journey to make a positive impact on the world.

Six months ago, I graduated college with a degree in International Studies from the University of South Carolina. I am so proud of myself and my degree. I am grateful that I had the opportunity to get an education. It was an incredible experience that I wouldn’t trade for anything but it came at a cost.

Throughout my four years, I was either in the classroom, the library or on the road. During the small amount of free time I had, I tried to get away from the chaos and hang out with my friends and be normal. Most of the time that meant late nights with my friends and early mornings sitting on the runway before leaving on another flight for another city and another business adventure. While traveling and speaking led to life changing opportunities and meeting incredible people all over the world overtime it began to wear me down. Constantly switching between two different lives in two different worlds certainly took a toll on me.

During the week, I would sit in college classrooms, take trips to the river, local breweries and baseball games with friends and on the weekend I would put on a suit for meetings at the Pentagon, speaking to Fortune 500 companies, visiting troops in Afghanistan or embassies around the world.

Throughout all of this I took little to no time for myself. It was a constant struggle to eat right, sleep well (enough) and balance a college life with a professional career all while being a Medal of Honor recipient. At one point, the toll of a semester of traveling, 15 credit hours and final exams caused me to crash — hard. It was as if my body had initiated an emergency self-preservation protocol and hit the force shut down button. I cancelled my upcoming trip and went straight to the hospital for an IV and to begin the reboot process. It was an alarming wake-up call. Accompanied by the advice of a dear friend and mentor Paul Ramirez who said “if you’re not good for yourself you’re not going to be good for the people you’re trying to help” I chose to slowly start making necessary changes to put myself first.

I am so thankful for this beautiful and challenging time because it showed me just how far and how hard I can push myself professionally before other areas of my life are negatively affected. Even though my work-life balance is still a work in progress I have learned how to say ‘no’ without feeling bad. I now understand how to turn my focus to where my efforts will have the most impact for myself, veterans and the causes and people I am working to support.

With that said, after graduation I had put all events and speaking opportunities on hold. I have used these past few months to get organized professionally, reconnect with friends I have lost touch with and began a very big project (stay tuned).

I also worked with an agency to build my brand and create this website to connect on a more personal level with those who follow and support me all over the world. I enjoy and appreciate social media — it gives me a way to share my journey of recovery, life and the unexpected but the website will allow people to see who I am, the thoughts I have and, over time, my ever-changing take on the world.

Thank you, again, for your support and following my journey.

35 Comments

  • Tiffany Aguiar
    Posted June 12, 2018 12:50 am 0Likes

    I am so beyond proud of you and all you have accomplished. This is only the beginning! I love you Wild Bill!

  • Liz
    Posted June 12, 2018 3:27 pm 0Likes

    Kyle, the fact that you realized that you needed a moment to reconnect with yourself is so encouraging to other who also grind hard and overcome adveristies. Thank you for your incredible service. Semper Fidelis.

  • Maureen
    Posted June 12, 2018 3:41 pm 0Likes

    This is an amazing continuation of the fine work you do and the excellent example and inspiration you are to others. As an “army brat” and a Gamecock parent, I take immense pride in following and sharing your endeavors. Thank you for your service, sacrifice and dedication to our country. You have, and will continue to make a tremendous difference in the world. God Bless.

  • Regie Bedenbaugh
    Posted June 12, 2018 4:02 pm 0Likes

    Awesome news for you Kyle. I’ll be waiting to see your new venture. I wish you all the best and thank you for your service. Go Cocks & Go Knights!

  • Kerry Olsen
    Posted June 12, 2018 4:03 pm 0Likes

    Thank you Kyle, it has been humbling to watch you on this journey. I look forward to seeing what is yet to come!

  • Doug Sauder
    Posted June 12, 2018 4:04 pm 0Likes

    I first heard about your story when my son Tyler (SC Alum 2016) was introduced to you through mutual friends from your fraternity at SC. He couldn’t wait to call me & tell me about an incredible student at SC & how humble, fun & normal you were. He was amazed at your story but way more impressed of your humility and genuine character.
    He is now in PT school at Methodist University and when he is struggling with school or life he refers back to you and your determination in life and how you battled and overcame. He uses your positivity as a measuring stick so he can tackle any obstacle that comes his way.
    Thank you for your service young man and thank you for having such an unknowing impact on my son! You now have two life-long fans in Philly!
    GoCocks! Go EAGLES!

    Doug Sauder

  • Joe Hendrix
    Posted June 12, 2018 4:07 pm 0Likes

    Semper Fi Brother. You are truly an inspiration to so many people. Keep up your awesome work and your friend gave you great advice. Take care of yourself first and the other stuff will fall into place. Be safe and enjoy the journey!

  • Dawson
    Posted June 12, 2018 4:38 pm 0Likes

    Congrats! You are an inspiration. Looking forward to follow your journey, you’ll do great. Best of luck!

  • Erin
    Posted June 12, 2018 5:13 pm 0Likes

    I love to see that you are living the life God has for you and not let the devils plans get in the way. Thank you for being a strong enough person to keep fighting for yourself and others. I have a lot of respect for you and all you’ve done and are doing. I love that you now have another way to follow all you are doing. I’m a youth leader at my church and have shared your story with my youth and will continue to do so. It’s story’s like yours that will be examples they need.

  • Robin Montgomery
    Posted June 12, 2018 5:25 pm 0Likes

    Kyle, I went to school with your beautiful Mom in Taylorsville.Through the posts that she and many other friends shared, I have been following your progress and keeping you and your family in my prayers from the beginning of your recovery after your Alive Day. You have been such an inspiration to so many with the strength, determination, and perseverance that you have shown throughout your journey. It is so wonderful to see how far you have come and am looking forward to seeing where your journey takes you! God bless you for all that you have done and are continuing to do.

  • Adam Crouse
    Posted June 12, 2018 9:09 pm 0Likes

    Kyle,
    Your story inspires me. I served in Echo Co. 2/8 from 2006-2007 and deployed to Iraq with them. I’ve lost a few friends over there and in Afghanistan as well. I’ve had some hard times along the way. But when I heard your story, it help me make it through the now seemingly small issues that I faced. Your perseverance and resolution through insurmountable odds makes it easy for me to make it through the now insignificant problems that I face.

    Keep doing what you’re doing. You have the entire gun club behind you.

    Stay hydrated. Change your socks.

    Semper Fi.

    Adam Crouse
    USMC 0311

  • Lisa Hiering
    Posted June 12, 2018 9:16 pm 0Likes

    Much love to you on your journey, Kyle. Looking forward to seeing what you’ll be doing next!
    -from this Marine Mom

  • Gill Gignilliat
    Posted June 12, 2018 11:02 pm 0Likes

    Thank you for your sacrifices. God bless and good luck with your future projects – you are going to do amazing things!

  • Shannon Metcalf
    Posted June 13, 2018 12:06 am 0Likes

    Kyle,

    I heard you speak at NSA a couple of years ago. I knew your story before you came to speak, but hearing you tell it gave me chills. I’m thankful for people like you that are willing to sacrifice everything for people you’ll never meet. Thank you for representing the MoH the way you do.

    Greater love has no man than this, than to lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13

    Shannon

  • Cameron Brown
    Posted June 13, 2018 12:08 am 0Likes

    Thank you for your service and for being an inspiration to all. Men and women like yourself are the reason that we have the ability to live as freely as we do.

  • Chaplain Gary Riddle
    Posted June 13, 2018 12:29 am 0Likes

    Kyle,
    Compassion fatigue is a very real thing and I can’t imagine the passion that you have to help others after the ordeal that you have faced in your life. Take the time you need. Your story is a blessing and those effected by it will patiently wait for your return. Thank you for all you do. And from one former Marine to another, “Semper Fi.”

  • Thomas Mardany
    Posted June 13, 2018 12:52 am 0Likes

    Thank for your service it’s because people like you we have the ability to be free in the greatest country in the world and let’s go game cocks!!

  • Joshua Rigg
    Posted June 13, 2018 1:14 am 0Likes

    Semper Fidelis Marine and keep up the great work. I look forward to your continued journey and all the great work you are doing.

  • Gary L. Packwood
    Posted June 13, 2018 2:33 am 0Likes

    I wish for you the very best of everything including success with your web site. Tell us what we need to do to help make this project a success.

  • Casey O’Brien
    Posted June 13, 2018 2:34 am 0Likes

    Thank you so much for sharing your story, one that is so much more than just what happened over there. I know you hear it all the time, but you are truly an inspiration. I look forward to following your journey for as long as you are willing to share it with all of us. Continue to care for number one. Stay safe, stay strong. I wish you nothing but the best, now and always.

    Semper Fidelis

  • Darrin Whitaker
    Posted June 13, 2018 2:35 am 0Likes

    Congratulations on graduating! Go Gamecocks! I’m a former Marine (0811)(1986-1990). I have enjoyed following your story. I pray for you and all veterans everyday. Thank you! I hope all your future endeavors are successful. God bless!!!! Psalms 118:8

  • Drew Brennes
    Posted June 13, 2018 3:31 am 0Likes

    You’re going to kill it man! You are a diety among Marine Corps veterans like myself especially of our generation. You are a true leader and role model brother! Preeeeaach!

  • Clay Dubberly
    Posted June 13, 2018 5:22 am 0Likes

    Came here from Facebook. Love the site. Semper Fi.

  • Suzanne Riley Whyte
    Posted June 13, 2018 11:46 am 0Likes

    Kyle, this is fabulous! Everything on your website & what you are expressing on your blog is raw, expossed & real! Thank you for being & expressing yourself as you have here to let us know how you are.
    Congratulations on your graduation and all your endeavors emotionally, mentally & spiritually!
    Look forward to your future endeavors and if I can help please let me know!
    Suzanne Riley Whyte

  • Ruthie Brown
    Posted June 13, 2018 5:06 pm 0Likes

    Kyle, first, thank you for your service. I’ve enjoyed seeing some of your journey on social media. You are truly an inspiration, and I am sure you will do great things in the future. All the best to you!

  • Dawn Staton
    Posted June 13, 2018 7:00 pm 0Likes

    Thank YOU for your service and sacrifice. Reading about your journey is encouraging, glad you made the decision to give life a second try. Semper Fidelis

  • Linda Ballington
    Posted June 13, 2018 9:13 pm 0Likes

    Hi Kyle,
    I was looking on Facebook and ended up on your web page. I read your post and I want to thank you for your service to our country. Your dedication, perserverance, and courage is absolutely remarkable. God must have great plans for you. I am a mom like your mom. My son has not been wounded, but he has had many deployments as a Special Forces Medic. I pray for God to wrap his loving arms around all our soldiers, to protect them and to give them the strength to deal with what evercomes their

  • JEFF
    Posted June 13, 2018 9:17 pm 0Likes

    Awesome Brother, hope all is well.💪✌

  • Teresa
    Posted June 13, 2018 9:35 pm 0Likes

    You are a true inspiration to many. May the Good Lord keep Blessing you and having you in the palm of His hands. Forever grateful for your service and great sacrifices for me. A proud citizen of the USA.

  • Gabriella Couto
    Posted June 13, 2018 11:26 pm 0Likes

    You truly have such an inspiring story. You may be saying thank you to us for the support, but I couldn’t even put into words how thankful I am for your service in Afghanistan; risking your life to save the lives of others and fighting for our freedom. Your story not only inspires me greatly, but inspires thousands of others who appreciate you for the same reason that I do. Just wanted to quickly put this message out there to send a quick thank you to you. Keep working hard and achieving your dreams. I’ll be supporting you until the end!

  • Doug Holston
    Posted June 14, 2018 1:17 am 0Likes

    awesome sight, after reading your story all I can say is “welcome home “

  • Markus
    Posted June 14, 2018 2:15 am 0Likes

    Hi Kyle! I have followed you on instagram for a while! And I’m get so strong to read your stories and what you sacrificed! It a honor for me to follow you! And read your story! Keep on going:)

    //Markus from Sweden

  • Naomi Malmgren
    Posted June 14, 2018 4:17 am 0Likes

    Your story is amazing and I’ve been following you since the day your Facebook page was created while you were recovering. Thank you for your service Kyle and I’m glad your home following your dreams.

  • Steve Aikens
    Posted June 14, 2018 8:03 pm 0Likes

    Brother i am happy that are paths crost in life. I when i get down over little things i remember how mutch you over came. You are a real insperation. SEMPER FI!

  • john karcher
    Posted March 15, 2019 12:29 am 0Likes

    Kyle you are such an inspiration for al of us. Our struggles in life are nothing compared to what you have bravely endured. I would love to meet you some day after reading everything about you on www. Enjoy life MORE…..you deserve whatever comes .

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