Subject Matter Expert
Jeremiah Pauley grew up in the blue-collar town of Massillon, Ohio. When he thinks back, he says he can still hear the United States National Anthem playing at local sporting events.
“I come from a very patriotic family,” says Jeremiah. “I remember watching television during Operation Desert Storm and how I admired those men and women who served. I figured I owed it to them and the many that came before to dedicate myself to our country.”
For Jeremiah, his call to service led him to the U.S. Army recruiting office in 1996, where he told recruiters he wanted to be airborne infantry. It took nearly 10 years before he was deployed to Tal Afar, Iraq. Four months later, the unthinkable happened.
“I was injured by an improvised explosive device (IED). Shrapnel from the roadside bomb entered my right arm above the elbow,” says Jeremiah.
If it weren’t for the immediate treatment he received by the medic on hand, Jeremiah would have probably not survived.
“I was at a hospital in Mosul for about a day, then at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany for about a week,” he says. “I then spent about three months at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.”
Due to his injuries, he was medically retired from the Army in 2007 as a staff sergeant. Jeremiah says it took him a long time to adapt and overcome his own negativity.
Jeremiah first got involved with Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) in 2011 after being invited to a Soldier Ride® in Phoenix, Arizona. He was later introduced to the WWP Physical Health, and Wellness program, which inspired him to take back control of his physical well-being. He shares his story as both a WWP spokesperson and member of the National Speaker’s Association.
A lot of Jeremiah’s inspiration comes from his kids.
“I see them smile, and it motivates me to be even better. I also see things that fellow warriors are doing; some with injuries much worse than mine. They help me to carry on and be positive, and they fuel my desire to help others.”