William “Billy” DeWalt felt helpless and scared when a petit mal seizure would grip him more than 10 times a day, leaving him completely immobile but still able to hear everything around him.
Ten years of military service left him with depression and an anxiety disorder. A traumatic brain injury, which forced him to leave the military when he was 28, resulted in memory retention problems and seizures.
He felt like no one could help him readjust to civilian life, and it was nearly impossible to get into a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs medical center for the care he needed.
“I was mad,” said DeWalt, who turns 40 this month. “I gave all I had as a soldier and felt discarded after my injury and unimportant. It was a tough pill to swallow, but I kept moving forward to provide for my kids as best I could.”
Now, more than 10 years later, DeWalt runs to ensure that no one else will feel the same way he did.
He is running his 19th half-marathon Sunday, March 13, to continue his mission of raising money for local veterans organizations and to raise awareness of the difficulties they encounter after leaving the military.
He’s running in the ...