Leshonda “Shy” Gill

Leshonda was an Army Chemical Operations Specialist in Iraq 2003 when her convoy was hit by an explosion. The vehicle in front of Leshonda’s Humvee exploded and her vehicle received the brunt of the shrapnel. Leshonda sustained many injuries including the loss of her kidney, spleen, parts of her intestines, 25 teeth and both orbital eye sockets were crushed. Of the 24 troops in her convoy, 8 were killed. The final and most enduring injury was invisible; PTSD/Combat Trauma. After returning to Iraq as a contractor from 2006-2009, it wasn’t until then she realized the very real effects of PTSD was having on her ability to adjust to civilian life. Leshonda was unprepared for the challenges of both the physical and invisible wounds of war that which resulted in homelessness on the streets of Washington DC. After receiving support and relocating from DC to Los Angeles she has begun the next phase in her life, receiving much needed dental surgeries, settling in a special home for female veterans as well as continuing her education. It is Leshonda’s goal to move forward with a focused determination, to share her story of survival with others and to create awareness of the affects PTSD has on many troops returning from war. Join Leshonda as she shares “The Heart of a Warrior; My Road to Reclamation.”

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