F.E. WARREN AIR FORCE BASE – In a small town in Georgia, Herschel Walker grew up larger than average and poorly spoken. Because of this, he was bullied. Called names. Beat up.
Fed up with the way he was treated, Walker began doing 5,000 push-ups, 5,000 sit-ups and reading books to the mirror every day.
Eventually Walker was able to speak without a stutter and became one of the fastest runners in the state of Georgia. The kid in school no one ever thought would amount to anything graduated as the valedictorian of his high school class, and received both athletic and academic scholarships.
Ten years and more than 300 military bases after his first speaking engagement, Walker still travels the world visiting military bases and talking to service members about seeking help. He stresses seeking help doesn’t make a person any less strong.
Walker spent the day talking with Airmen touring and learning about the 90th Missile Wing mission and the rich history of F.E. Warren Air Force Base, August 14.
“No matter how many times you get knocked down, no matter how many times you think you can go no more, you need to dig deep and pick yourself up,” Walker said. “Never stay down. Never think you can’t get up.”
Walker recalled a time when he was in contact with a person to purchase a hot rod. He was consistently met with no contact and the seller missed meeting times with every excuse in the book. Finally, he got a call from a random number he didn’t recognize and was given a meeting location.
Angry with the way the man treated him, he grabbed a gun with the intention to kill him. When he arrived, gun in hand, he read the bumper sticker on the man’s car, and he realized that what he was looking to do wasn’t right and that he needed help. That bumper sticker read; “Honk if you love Jesus.”
This was the turning point for Walker. He turned to the church and his pastor helped him find a doctor.
Walker was later checked into a behavioral health hospital and received the help he needed.
Diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder, a condition where a person has the presence of one or more personalities that can have their own unique characteristic. Walker came out ready to face the world and help the people in it.
“I don’t care how strong or great you are, there are some things you can’t do yourself,” said Walker. “If you need help, don’t be afraid to seek it.”