Stand for the Silent: Veteran doesn't adapt to life, instead makes life adapt to her
In our Stand for the Silent series: A story, a moment, an impact – we’re continuing to feature veterans who have not only overcome struggles of their own, but are now helping others.
Donna Pratt always knew she wanted to join the military. Her father was a WWII veteran. She joined the army right after high school and served for eight years before retiring.
She then re-enlisted after 9/11.
“I felt like I needed to do something, I needed to be a part of something and wasn’t really about me, it was about something bigger than me so I rejoined the army,” Pratt recalled.
She cared about her fellow soldiers while overseas—praying over them before every mission.
“I handled weapons, fixed weapons, supplied weapons, small arms weapons, and I loved my job,” Pratt said. “My unit was a rapidly deploying unit and we deployed to Iraq, where I did see some stuff.”
She became injured overseas and once back at home had to use a wheelchair for years.
Pratt recalled feeling guilty, scared, angry, and depressed for having to leave her unit, who she says were like her family.
“I was filled with a lot of guilt coming home because my job as an armor I took very seriously,” Pratt said. “Me being spiritual, I felt like I helped keep my company safe because any time I had to have weapons go out, I prayed over my weapons, prayed over my brothers and sisters before they went out.”
She gives the Wounded Warrior Project credit for helping her, saying they saved her life.
Pratt beat the odds, and today, is able to walk again. She’s been sky diving, sailing, biking in the mountains in Utah – and doesn’t plan on slowing down anytime soon.
“I know at any time when I reach out to Wounded Warrior Project they always help,” she said. “But I’ve always been the type of person, I think that’s one of the reasons why I joined the army because I wanted to help others, and through Wounded Warrior Project I’ve been able to use my story to help other warriors in so many other ways that I can’t even imagine.”
Pratt has some advice that she said she needed to hear back then, “Get off the couch, and know that nothing is impossible. Through Wounded Warrior Project and learning a new life, I developed a motto which is: I don’t adapt to life, I make life adapt to me. No matter what you want to do, there’s a way to do it.”
To get in contact with the Wounded Warrior Project, click here.