On February 19, 2007, U.S. Staff Sergent Shilo Harris was patrolling an infamous southern Iraqi roadway when his Humvee was struck by an IED. For 48 days he lay trapped in a medically induced coma with a 2% chance of survival.
60 surgeries were just part of Shilo's reshaping into the person he says he was always meant to be.
It definitely did not feel that way in the beginning, but Shilo has learnt over the years that the scars he has are a blessing to him.
Shilo enlisted after the attack on 9/11. Yet he had carried wounds into the battle - wounds that were inflicted in his childhood. Subsequently, he brought more wounds with him as he returned from the battle, seriously injured from the IED attack.
The scars from war became a blessing partly because people can see his physical injuries and know that he was hurt in the combat. It then opens up conversation and he was able to get help from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
However, many of the servicemen/women return home from war without such physical indicators. They are wounded are in their hearts. People don't know how to help them or know that they are injured.
Personally, he knows how real PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) can be. As such, Shilo urges his fellow servicemen/women to seek help. Suicide is not the answer.
The worst day in his life (other than the day of the blast) was the day when Shilo found out that only one other member of his group made it alive. The 3 other young men had died in the blast.
This was one of the turning points for Shilo with regards to his faith in Christ.
Shilo cried for 3 days. He was devastated. He cried until he had no more tears.
With no physical outlet to express the hurt and pain, Shilo was just simply lying on his bed, heaving, gasping and letting the tears roll down. Every muscle on his body was tight and his chest hurt with each breath.
He knew he can't keep on going like that. So he prayed - for peace and for help.
And God sent help - a Colonel who talked and walked him through it all.
Shilo strongly believes that his calling is to lead people out of the darkness, the darkness he saw when he was in coma.
He can see the light and he knows he is in the light.
He wants to save at least one more person, someone who had suffered from wounds in the war or just someone who has baggage.
"God has a plan for me. That's why I do what I do."
This is the story of what it takes to make a man, break a man and make him once again.
For a copy of Shilo's book, Steel Will, please visit our Crossroads eStore here.