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Travis Howze Brings Post Traumatic Purpose Tour to DeSales

by Janelle Hill Oct 17, 2022
2022Oct3 Travis Howze Post Traumatic Purpose

Travis Howze is the first to admit he embraced the tough guy culture that comes with a career in the military and emergency services.

After serving four years in the Marine Corps infantry, Howze went on to become a police officer and firefighter in South Carolina. But tragedy struck in 2007, when nine Charleston firefighters, including Howze’s best friend, were killed in a warehouse fire. After that, he said, everything started spiraling out of control.

“Nobody taught me how to deal with having a gun in my mouth at 3:00 in the morning,” Howze said. “This job will change you. We’re going to talk about that.”

Howze, an international touring speaker, author, and motivational wellness educator, brought his Post Traumatic Purpose course on leadership, mental wellness, and resiliency to the DeSales University Center. The Master of Arts in criminal justice program and the Office of Veterans and Military Services sponsored the free seminar.

Speaking to a room full of emergency responders and veterans, Howze stressed the need to speak openly and honestly. He offered a firsthand account of the trauma that’s endured and all too often ignored in these professions—even comparing his own brain to a trauma filing cabinet.

“What do we always brag about being in here? We’re a family. But we’re failing to take care of ourselves, and we’re failing to take care of each other in this business.”

Howze encouraged the audience to check in on each other and to recognize the warning signs of PTSD, including a lack of focus and motivation, self-isolation, and too much dark humor. He stressed the need to ask for help and offered himself as proof that you can learn to live and thrive with post-traumatic stress.

“We spend our whole lives taking care of everybody, and we spend our whole lives neglecting ourselves,” he said. “Take off that armor; talk to your people. They will never be good if you’re not good.”