Yulista team member, Kerry Beck, has been a valued and dedicated employee for 15 years. Kerry has been open about sharing his personal battle in overcoming PTSD and other major physical conditions as a result of his deployment. Through these experiences, Kerry pursued ways he could help veterans who are experiencing similar situations.
Out of thousands of applicants, Kerry Beck has been selected to receive Liberty University’s 2023-2024 American Hero Fund Scholarship. Kerry plans to dedicate his off time helping others overcome PTSD. He has completed all coursework for his BS in Psychology and is currently finishing his professional internship. He will graduate in December 2023 with a 3.6 GPA.
This is his story.
Kerry Beck joined the Alabama National Guard as a 17-year-old Junior in high school and was called to active duty and deployed to Iraq in 2004 through 2005.
Promoted to Sergeant & Team Lead he was tasked with daily convoy support, providing communications to soldiers throughout the country.
Attached to the 101st Airborne Division with ground support missions & convoy communications, his small unit was constantly mortared and RPG’d (Rocket-Propelled Grenade), all the while taking live fire on base, day in and day out. Often only five American soldiers manned the Forward Operating Base.
Returning to base with a support convoy, the lead Poland truck was hit with an IED (Improvised Explosive Device). Being toward the rear of the convoy, Kerry was only dazed and was able to pull security while the area was being cleared. However, he had sustained a TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) and partial hearing loss from the IED explosion.
Returning home, he denied disability benefits due to ignorance of the system and did not want to be labeled as disabled. It took over ten years for Kerry to realize that being a disabled veteran was neither shameful nor disgraceful. With the support of a local VA rep, Kerry was able to work through many issues and obtain the benefits available to him and his family.
Currently, he has VA disability ratings for hearing loss & Tinnitus, a respiratory lung condition resulting from being in a burn pit area during his entire time in-theatre, and PTSD with insomnia.
The lung condition led to an undiagnosed coronary artery disease, which resulted in open heart surgery to repair an aneurysm on the lower anterior descending artery. This is a high-risk surgery with low survival rates.
After a successful surgery in 2022, time off and rehab, he returned to work and finished his degree – all with the end goal of helping others navigate the VA system.
Kerry and his beautiful supportive family, along with friends and colleagues, have all helped him journey the steep road to recovery and positioned & inspired him to pay it forward . . . and we are likewise inspired by Kerry’s personal story and are honored to have him in our Yulista family.
Image Caption: The Beck Family: Kerry, Rachel, Landon, and Averi