When Curtis Brown wrote his self-published book “PTSD: Programmed To Self-Destruct” last year, he intended it to help fellow veterans suffering from the same issues that plagued him after his service in the Gulf War.
Brown was an E4 in the Army and served during the Gulf War in 1990-91 with the First Cavalry. He received two bronze service stars for his service, but while in Iraq he was exposed to chemicals that made him sick. In August of 1991 he was injured in a training accident and medically discharged.
For 18 years he suffered with chronic pain, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and an addiction to the pain relievers, muscle relaxants, and antidepressants the doctors at his Veteran’s Affairs hospital kept prescribing him.
He found a way to overcome those problems and shared them in his book. Since then, the scope of his mission to help others has expanded dramatically. He found that his book and his message were reaching more than just veterans. People from all walks of life were benefitting from what he had to say.
“Although we may not be in the same war, we’re in the same battlefield called life,” he said.
He took his message to elected officials who have embraced his efforts to help veterans. With the encouragement of radio personality Sam Malone and others Brown now has his own weekly radio program, a foundation, speaking engagements, and soon a re-launch of his book on Amazon.
“I never knew I’d have a foundation,” he said.
Through his website, www.curtisbrown.org, people can learn about the Curtis Brown Foundation, sign him up for speaking engagements, and get information about his radio show.
The radio show airs Sundays at 10:30 a.m. on KKHT 100.7-FM and also on iTunes and Google Podcast. The show launched Sept. 16 with U.S. Rep. Pete Olson as the first guest. State Rep. Rick Miller was the second guest on Sept. 23, and Valarie Hurst, who is starting a similar television ministry, was the guest on Sept. 30.
“We want to be a part of changing lives and bringing healing to the broken,” Brown said.
He said people need to stop and look at their friends and family and identify those with difficulties and addictions, not just from opioids, but all forms of addiction.
“Everybody knows somebody with an addiction,” he said.
He said addictions are not a battle people were meant to fight alone.
“We have a huge addiction problem in this country,” he said. “Now I’m fighting for my country in a different way.”
While moving forward with his mission on multiple fronts, Brown’s original platform is getting a major makeover. Brown has teamed up with Christian author David Gregory, who is re-writing the book and preparing it for a Nov. 1 launch on Amazon. Pre-orders begin on Oct. 15.
“He’s re-writing it and making it more powerful,” Brown said.
Although Brown is gaining momentum with his mission, support has been slow to follow.
“People say they want to get involved and support us, but they show no urgency,” he said.
To keep things going, Brown is seeking sponsors and donation for his radio program, along with more speaking engagements, and donations to his foundation. One of his goals through the foundation is to get the book into prisons where Brown feels there are a lot of hurt, broken, and addicted people who could benefit from it. He said all donations to the foundation are tax deductible.
To help get the word out, Brown will hold a meet and greet at the Gringos restaurant in Stafford on Oct. 27 from 2-3:30 p.m. Miller and several judicial candidates have committed to being there.
In addition to his non-profit work, Brown stated a part-time job this fall teaching Bible classes, U.S. history, and geography at Living Water Christian School. It’s something he could not have done just a couple years ago while struggling with chronic pain, prescription drugs, and PTSD.
Brown said if he can overcome his challenges, others can too.
“There is a lot of brokenness in this country and the only way to heal is to expose the wound. We all have those wounds,” he said.