The Power of a Mantra-“Keep Breathing”


By Debbie Gregory.

An Army Ranger from Joint Base Lewis-McChord is recovering at Walter Reed Military Medical Center after being shot four times during a firefight in Afghanistan.

Sgt. Oliver Campbell had three bullets go through and through, but one bullet lodged close to his heart after the attack. While he awaited a medical evacuation after the attack, Campbell repeated to himself a phrase he’d just heard watching Leonardo DiCaprio’s new survivalist flick: “keep breathing.”

The recurring line from DiCaprio’s The Revenant kept Campbell calm until he lost consciousness.

His lung nearly collapsed and his heart stopped on one of his medical flights. He also suffered shrapnel injuries near his eyes.

Campbell and his Ranger team were attacked with small arms and sort of explosive exploded, causing shrapnel to splinter in a compound they visited.

Campbell joined the Army immediately after graduating from high school in Southern California.

The 22 year old plotted a course that would make him an Army Airborne Ranger. He joined his battalion a little more than two years ago, and has deployed to Afghanistan several times.

In a letter to friends and family, Campbell thanked his teammates for keeping him alive after the attack and the flight surgeons and nurses who tended to him.

He also thanked actor Leonardo DiCaprio, whose performance in the survivalist movie “The Revenant” helped motivate him.

“Believe it or not, when I was laying there all jacked up, the movie ‘The Revenant’ came to mind,” he wrote. “All I could think of was that line, ‘Keep breathing.’ ”

The Revenant is inspired by the experiences of frontiersman and fur trapper Hugh Glass in Montana and South Dakota. While exploring the uncharted wilderness in 1823, Glass sustains injuries from a brutal bear attack. When his hunting team leaves him for dead, Glass must utilize his survival skills to find a way back home to his beloved family.

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