Veteran Stories

Redmond Ramos, Afghanistan War Veteran

Afghanistan War Vet, Red Ramos, subscribes to a philosophy of “Success through Struggle.” So when bad times hit, you just push through them, right? 

Wrong, Red explains. 

It’s so much more than that. It’s the idea that “If you want to grow, you have to put yourself in a state of struggle. If you want to build muscle, you have to put yourself in the gym, put your body in a state of struggle every day.” When it comes to building character, the same rule applies. “I think a lot of people try and look for the easy route. We’re scared to put ourselves in challenging situations. And that's the only way we can grow physically. It's definitely the only way we grow personally.”

Red knows something about challenges. Toward the end of his deployment as a Navy Corpsman attached to 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, Red stepped on an IED while on his way to provide cover and support for another injured team member. He was forced to amputate the leg if he ever wanted to run again. In a single instant, Red’s entire life course was altered.

And yet, he considers himself lucky.

Every challenge, every struggle, is also an opportunity to succeed and overcome. “I was given this kind of bad situation at first, and then immediately I was given a choice, an opportunity to make the best of it.” This attitude has informed every decision Red has made since.

After losing his leg, Red has consistently found opportunities to thrive. After separating from the military, he joined TMF’s veteran transition program and is currently pursuing his dream of becoming a motivational speaker. He’s competed in athletic competitions from The Warrior Games to CBS’s Amazing Race.

His ultimate goal is to do exactly what he did in the military: help and inspire others. He takes every opportunity he has, to share his own experience in hopes that it will strike a chord in someone else. “I love the stories of people being faced with something hard, something challenging, and somehow bettering themselves for it. You shouldn't be measuring yourself based on how hard you had it,” Red advises. “Measure yourself on your successes, not your struggles.”


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