Five years after Levant enlisted in the U.S. Army, his unit was called to Iraq as part of Operation Desert Storm. “Life in the desert meant you never knew when you’d fall under attack or lose a friend,” he remembers. “That’s when fear and anxiety began to enter my life.” After being honorably discharged from active duty, Levant was diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and was determined to turn his life around. “I needed to find a way to be the person I knew I could be,” says Levant. “I wanted to be a person I – and my family – could be proud of.”
When Levant entered The Doe Fund’s Veterans Program, he was immediately inspired. “The staff spoke about the right way to live, but more importantly, they lived the right way themselves. I was finally part of a team again – this time, as one of the ‘men in blue.’” Through The Doe Fund’s relationship with the Department of Veterans Affairs, Levant was able to return to school, where he enrolled in New York University to pursue his dream of becoming a motivational speaker.
“I am living proof that people can overcome adversity,” he says. “I’ve learned that when life gives you a second chance, you should take it and go as far as your dreams will take you.”