James Phelps, a prior U.S. Air Force technical sergeant who has four Afghanistan deployments, sits in his wheelchair surrounded by wounded warrior sports memorabilia at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, May 17, 2023. Phelps spent most of his career as an integrated avionics craftsman with the 211th and 212th Rescue squadrons and said the strain of war, combat deployments, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and the suicide of his best friend brought him to a low point in his life. His wife, the Fisher House Foundation and the Warrior Games intervened. "I met some amazing souls as I let go of the shame I held for not having reached 20 active-duty years," Phelps said. "I learned compassion, which allowed me to let go of resentment in regards to my military service. Most impressively, we started to heal.” He continues to compete in the Wounded Warrior Games and strongly advocates for struggling service members to reach out for help. "You are not alone," he said. (U.S. Air Force photo by Justin Connaher)
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