Shared by Adam’s wife, who has now organized a non profit organization – “Operation Bear Hug” – for our soldiers and veterans.
“My husband passed last year. He was active duty army stationed at Fort Bragg. A decorated soldier with a heart of gold. I’ve been trying to honor him for a year now but in my area he’s just a number. Not a brother, a son, a husband, a soldier, an uncle, or a friend.”
“Last August, I lost my husband who battled PTSD. Unfortunately, there is no cure. You learn to live with it and some never do. 22 veterans and 1 active duty service member takes their own life a day. That is the number. With my non-profit I want to change that. I want try to change that number by reaching out to military service members past and present and let them know we as civilians care and appreciate all they have done. I will be giving them a teddy bear, sounds silly, but it stands for a hug from us. I will also be giving them a journal where there will be a personal message and important numbers to call in case they need them. I will also make a Facebook forum page and a personal email account where if at any point they need to talk I am here. I will also be trying to battle the VA to get better mental health care for veterans. I am always open to suggestions and help on this. Anyone interested shoot me an e-mail. This is near and dear to my heart and I will incredibly grateful to embark on this journey.”
Blog: Amanda and Adam’s story / PTSD
SGT Adam Kyle Gilliam was born on 6 September 1985 in Mason City, Iowa and raised in Morristown, Tennessee.
After completing One Station Unit Training as a Cavalry Scout at Fort Knox, KY, he travelled to Schweinfurt, Germany. There he served with the 91st Cavalry Squadron, 173st Airborne Brigade, deploying to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Upon redeployment, SGT Gilliam was assigned to Fort Knox as an instructor with the 15th Cavalry Regiment. While serving at Fort Knox, SGT Gilliam met his wife, Amanda, and they were married in May 2009. SGT Gilliam was then stationed in Camp Ederle, Italy. During that time he completed his second deployment to Afghanistan. Following redeployment, SGT Gilliam received orders to Fort Bragg, NC where he was assigned to Bravo Troop, 1st Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division, as a Vehicle Gunner.
SGT Gilliam’s military awards include the Combat Action Badge, Army Commendation Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Service Medal with Campaign Star, Global War on Terrorism Medal, Non Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, North Atlantic Treaty Organization Medal and Parachutist Badge.