Jack Fanning was a combat controller training for a new team when a night time HAHO training jump went terribly wrong.
When he jumped from the aircraft, he was at the pinnacle of physical shape, with hundreds of jumps under his belt. However, Fanning ended up hitting the ground at 35 knots (~40 mph) which caused his C3 to overlap his C4. While on the ground, he had a very hard time breathing and said “I knew I was dying.” Somehow, his IR strobe got turned on and his teammates found him.
After some miracles, much determination, and remaining positive, Jack is now an active quadriplegic who skydives, skis, hunts, scuba dives, and other activities.
He’s also a founding member of “Brother’s Keepers“, which is a non-profit that provides retreats and support for our wounded warriors, their families, and others in our community who are in need. He’s found immense healing by serving others.
This warrior is determined to walk again. Therapy kicks his butt 3-days/week and he’s flexed one bicep and walked with robot legs.
Fanning gave some advice for those considering spec ops:
- you’ve got to be in shape
- It’s about 80% mental. When the body wants to quit, you’ve got to override that feeling with mental toughness.
And if you’re struggling from seen or unseen wounds, ask for help. It’s also beneficial to talk about your injury/problem. Keep a positive attitude and get up and do it (whatever ‘it’ is). You’ll be uplifted when you hear Jack talk about his recovery and feel his fighting spirit.
Learn more about Jack Fanning below and other organizations mentioned in this episode:
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