News: NFL legend tells soldiers: ‘You should not be ashamed, we all have problems’
Story by Jade Fulce
FORT BLISS, Texas -- Former Dallas Cowboy player and 1982 Heisman Trophy winner Herschel Walker spent a day at Fort Bliss sharing his life story and candidly speaking about getting treatment for his dissociative identity disorder, formerly known as multiple personality disorder.
“You should not be ashamed,” said Walker. “We all have problems. That is why I am standing and saying ‘Look at me, I have problems.’ I went and got those problems taken care of. Now, I am free. I can look at myself and say I love who I am and I want [people who have problems] to do the same.”
Walker openly shared that there was anger in his life. His anger came from kids picking on him. Walker said as a child he used to be chubby and had a speech impediment. Children would pick on him and teachers told him he was special and put him in the corner. One day Walker said he had enough and changed his situation by working out and reading to overcome his impediment. Walker said he has worked out every day of his life since he was 14 years old.
Walker stressed the importance of resilience to approximately 200 students attending the Warrior Leaders Course at the Non-commissioned Officer Academy, Aug. 17, at Sage Hall. Walker also signed autographs for fans at Freedom Crossing and had lunch with soldiers from 11th Air Defense Artillery Brigade and the 32nd Army Air and Missile Defense Command.
Walker said throughout his life he used to think he was never good enough and would do things that eventually made him realize he had a problem.
“It did not matter to me if someone was going to think bad of me,” said Walker. “Those people were not with me late at night when I didn’t think I could make it anymore. They were not with me when I used to grab a gun and spin it and put it to my head and pull the trigger. People like you were trying to commit suicide; I said ‘No, I wasn’t. That was a game.’”
Walker admits that he is stronger today because he received help since he was convinced he would have hurt someone or himself.
“You got to have faith in anything that you do in life,” said Walker. “You got to have faith that you can accomplish it or it’s not going to happen. You have to believe you can do it or it ain’t going to happen. You have to take the authority to make it happen.”
Walker stressed to the academy that if they want to be leaders, they have to stand up like leaders.
Spc. Mark Burch from Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, a student in the Academy, said Walker’s speech was inspiring.
“I liked [Walker’s] speech,” said Burch. “It motivated me to do better and be the best leader I can be.”
To learn more about resilience training on post, visit the Fort Bliss Family Resilience Center at Bldg. 250 on Club Road. This center is designed to assist soldiers, family members, retirees and Department of the Army civilians by providing classes and guidance that will help them thrive in the face of a challenge and bounce back from adversity. To learn more, call 915-569-5500.