A Veteran Air Force Mechanic Finds Purpose

Justin Eldridge experienced an overwhelming pain in his back while serving as an Air Force mechanic on C-130 planes at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida in 2007. Doctors found he’d suffered a MRSA viral infection, which developed an abscess that worked like a tourniquet on his spinal cord and left him partially paralyzed.

Eldridge, who began serving in 2000 and had been frequently deployed to the Middle East, spent nine months in a VA hospital where he met many veterans with combat wounds and PTSD.

Today, the Bordentown, New Jersey, resident is seeking a bachelor’s degree in social work with plans to earn a master’s in order to achieve his goal of serving veterans. “I met many people who have PTSD and hopefully I can help them out,” said Eldridge, who retired from the Air Force with full benefits. “They have gone through a lot more than I have. This is a good way to help people. It gives me a purpose.”

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