Army SSG Joshua Ives’ Wish of a Fishing Kayak Granted – Sponsored by Bass Pro Shops

Description of Injury:

My name is SSG Joshua Wayne Ives and I was born in 1982 in Houston, Texas. I am currently 31 years old. I am married to my beautiful wife, Kristal Ann, of Corsicana, Texas and have a daughter named Cadence Marie.

I joined the Army in May 2001. I enlisted as a U.S. Infantryman and went to basic training at Fort Benning, GA. My first day of basic training was on September 11, 2001, a day that none of us will ever forget. I graduated from there and was sent to my first duty station at Fort Hood, Texas. I was assigned to Alpha Company 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry Regiment, 1st Calvary Division. I was selected to be a sniper for the upcoming deployment to Iraq. I was deployed to Iraq in January of 2004 in the initial invasion. I was awarded the Army Commendation Medal with Valor for destroying an enemy ambush and saving 12 Soldier’s lives. Some of the major battles I was in included Baghdad, Fallujah, Taji, Tikrit, and North Babil. I was extended during this deployment by President Bush for an additional three months.

Once I returned home, I was immediately reassigned to 3rd Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment, 1st Calvary Division. We were getting deployed to Iraq again. I was promoted to Sergeant and was appointed to lead the Battalion Commander’s Personal Security Detachment. I was deployed in September 2006. I was in the Jabouri Peninsula during this deployment. I was promoted to Staff Sergeant during this tour and was extended again by the President making this my second 15-month deployment to Iraq. Returning back to Fort Hood, I came on order to be a Drill Sergeant.

I than moved to Fort Benning, GA to train our young infantrymen. I personally trained over 300 soldiers. During my two years in Georgia, I was awarded the Drill Sergeant of the cycle, Non-Commissioned Officer of the Quarter and received honors for the highest graduation rate in the battalion. After this assignment, I was moved to the 3rd Battalion, 7th Field Artillery Regiment in Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. I was assigned immediately as Infantry Platoon Sergeant and was deployed to Afghanistan after only being in Hawaii for four months. I was in the Anbar Province on the Pakistan and Afghanistan border. After eight months of being deployed, I was medevaced to Germany due to a total of eight IED and one vehicle born explosions. I was then sent back stateside and assigned to the Wounded Warrior Battalion.

When I was in the Wounded Warrior Battalion, I received medical treatment and evaluation from November 2011 through April 2012. I was diagnosed with severe PTSD, Traumatic Brain Injury, Sleep Apnea, Chronic Migraines, Anxiety, Memory Lapses and Hypertension. I received a 100% disability rating from Veteran’s Affairs and a 90% disability rating from the U.S. Army.

I received my medical discharge on 26 December 2012 and retirement on 27 February 2013. Due to me not being able to obtain employment and the unexpected medical discharge, I have been put into a difficult financial situation. I continue to receive mental health care on a weekly basis as I am still trying to find a way to deal with my migraines that cripple me.

Bronze Star
Meritorious Service Medal
Army Commendation Medal with Valor
X4 Army Commendation Medals
X4 Army Achievement Medals
Global War on Terrorism Campaign Medal
Iraq Campaign Medal with 4 Campaign Stars
Afghanistan Campaign Medal with 2 Campaign Stars
Combat Infantryman’s Badge
Airborne Wings
Drill Sergeant Badge
Order of the Saint Maurice

My wish is to be able to get a kayak or small flat-bottomed boat to go fishing. My passion in life, other than my family, is fishing. Due to my severe PTSD, I am not able to be around large groups of people. The only peace I can really find in life after my combat tours is being out on a lake or river. This noise and people free environment is very soothing to me. There is a large lake very close to where I live in Tyler, TX. Having this kayak or boat would help me to leave the shore and truly enjoy being out on the water. I find myself sitting in the house everyday trying to find an excuse to go outside and fish. Beyond going to the VA hospital, I do not leave the house too much. If this wish is granted, it would help me find my solitude and that would be better than any kind of healthcare.


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