Staff Sgt. Shilo Harris

Surviving an IED Explosion & His Incredible Road To Recovery

This week’s Team Never Quit guest, Shilo Harris, has an amazing story to tell.  He speaks with Marcus about the details of his second deployment with the U.S Army’s 10th Mountain Division near Baghdad. Shilo’s armored vehicle was struck by an IED, which killed three of his fellow soldiers, injured the driver, and burned a third of his body, causing the loss of his ears, the tip of his nose and three fingers. The explosion also fractured his left collarbone and C-7 vertebrae. As a result, he spent nearly three years recovering and undergoing intensive physical therapy at the burn unit of Brook Army Medical Center in San Antonio, TX. While there, he was the first soldier to participate in regenerative stem-cell research to regrow his fingers, and later received prosthetic ears, and he has a hilarious story to share about them.

Today, Shilo is a motivational speaker, raising awareness for PTSD and serving as an inspiration to fellow soldiers.

“Everything in life is a gift. Sometimes it may not be the gift you want, but you realize that your challenges are a new beginning.”
 
In this episode you will hear:
• I’ve been extremely blessed. (17:53)
• Me being a burn guy, I have a hard time regulating my body temperature, because the scar tissue acts like wearing a jacket all the time. It just doesn’t breathe. (18:50)
• [While shopping for a hat, the girl] like a good salesperson, figured she could just size me up. She set that hat on me and popped it down. When she did, both my ears popped off, and hit the floor, bouncing around. (20:06)
• I was in a van one day, and there were several wounded warriors, and everybody was missing something. One of the guys looked around and said “Damn, all of us together make like one whole man, maybe two.” (24:47)
• My dad, being a veteran, we spent a lot of time at the American Legion. The American Legion out there was kind of like a bar. (25:52)
• I knew what I wanted. I wanted combat arms. (33:01)
• [In Bagdad] every day, there was an IED that went off in our area somewhere. (39:30)
• I could see that my face was charred black, my hair was gone, my ears were gone, my nose was gone, I had blood running out of everything, and I started panicking. (50:29)
• I was thinking: “I better get a day off for this.” (51:02)
• I spent 48 days in a medically induced coma. (52:51)
• [I had given up] and my dad said, “Are you done, soldier?” And it just washed over me, thinking holy crap, I’m a quitter before I even tried to start the fight. Where did my pride go? (55:24)
• When he walked out of the room, he [my dad] literally just looked at me and said “Then get your ass up and start doing the work.” And I did. (59:59)
• I was actually one of the first individuals to attempt regenerative growth. (66:00)
• Faith, regardless of what it is, can get you through your worst days, your darkest moments. (75:17)

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