- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 20, 2016

ROSWELL, N.M. (AP) - Post-traumatic stress disorder, commonly known as PTSD, brought Tim Amos to his career.

As a veteran of Desert Storm, Amos saw combat and it changed him.

“Knowing good men that had died in combat and that I was still alive, I had survivor’s guilt,” Amos said. “I didn’t think it was fair and I didn’t think that I deserved that when great men were no longer around to take care of their families and enjoy the things in life. For years I carried survivor’s guilt. Guys today are going through the same thing.”

Amos was a U.S. Army tanker from 1990 to 1994.

Amos credits his ex-wife with helping him to realize he needed help, reported the Roswell Daily Record (https://bit.ly/29EK6bx).

“The depression, the anxiety and just being around people would make me feel uncomfortable to the point that I knew it wasn’t normal,” Amos said. “It started to affect my life in many ways. It would affect me going to work. It kept me from getting enjoyment out of life. With the help of my ex-wife I was prompted to seek help, and to talk to people.”

The way he learned to communicate in counseling opened his eyes.

“That kind of communication opened up what I was actually suffering from survivor’s guilt,” Amos said. “Once I got the help I needed and realized that I had problems, that made me want to get into the types of fields to help people get through their problems.”

Amos returned home in 1994 from Vilseck, Germany, his last duty station,

“I took whatever jobs that came around,” Amos said. “I met Gina, the girl next door and we married.”

“After counseling I became a rehabilitation specialist for mental health companies,” Amos said. “I got to give back and help people in the capacity I really wanted to, and to change lives.”

They moved to Portales so she could finish school.

“I worked for mental health resources in Portales while she finished her degree.”

Family tragedy brought them back to Roswell.

“When my sister, Susan, was murdered in 2003 we moved back to Roswell,” Amos said. “I started working for the Roswell Refuge for domestic abuse and was an anger-management facilitator.”

He also gained a daughter when they adopted Susan’s daughter, Lauren.

“Lauren, the love of my life,” Amos said. “When her mom was murdered, it was such a horrible thing.”

He strives to count his blessings.

“Over my life I’ve tried to look at what’s positive in any situation, even the worst situation I could think of, which turned out to be the murder of someone I love,” Amos said. “But in that situation I got to be a father. Without that I never would have become a dad. It was my calling in life to be able to raise her.”

Amos takes pride in his daughter.

“She turned out to be a pretty good kid. I raised her to be a realist and to know what’s important, loving people and treating people right,” Amos said. “She had the talent, initiative and the drive to get into the New Mexico school for the arts in Santa Fe”.

Since returning to Roswell, Amos worked in the mental health field mostly until he started his own business.

“In 2009 Me and Pop opened Amos Refindery together,” Amos said. “I had a lot of fun converting antique radios to MP3 players. In fact I just finished another one for a friend.”

In 2012 they closed the store and Amos took a job with the New Mexico Youth Challenge Academy. He can see the difference he makes in peoples’ lives regularly.

“There are so many young lives that have come through there, troubled kids in gangs with nobody to care about them,” Amos said. “So many of them I’ve seen make a complete 180, and realize that they’re special and there is a place in the world for them and that they can accomplish anything.”

One cadet stands out in his memory.

“One cadet was a real handful,” Amos said. “He had a very smart mouth, didn’t want to do anything. But after he’d been there for a couple of months he realized life was more important than he had thought. He went on to work with FEMA and emergency relief, and later returned to volunteer at our program to help other kids come through. We’ve graduated more than 2,200 kids that might have been on the streets, incarcerated or worse.”

Recently he has moved into an administrative position.

“I do miss working with the kids, hands on with the program,” Amos said. “Now I travel the state talking with educators, parole officers and kids. I recruit them and bring them back to youth challenge.”

Amos knows that he has come full circle.

“The work I was inspired to do after I got counseling for PTSD has brought me to this job,” Amos said. “I hope it’s the last job I ever have.”

___

Information from: Roswell Daily Record, https://www.roswell-record.com

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