Dana Bowman Sgt. First Class (Ret.)

Professional Parachute Demonstrator/Pilot

Self-Employed

“I'm a motivational speaker who likes to help people from all walks of life.”

MY ROUTE:

The Straight Road

MY WORK LIFE:

Professional Parachute Demonstrator/Pilot

foundation interest 1 interest 2

My work allows me to combine the foundation of HELPING PEOPLE and the interests of ARMED SERVICES and ACTION SPORTS.


DAY IN AND DAY OUT

If someone were to shadow me for the day, they'd be astounded. It's really hard to keep up with me. I think it's just who I am: an unstoppable guy. When I do my motivational presentations, these corporate crowds are left wondering, "How have you done more than I've done in my lifetime just in the time since your accident?" I do a million things: I'm a pilot, an engineer, I build furniture...I do it all, and I do it for the best. Anyone who shadowed me would walk away saying, "I can do anything."

SKILLS, TRAINING, OR EXPERIENCE NEEDED

To do what I do, you have to have two things: a great attitude, and the drive to never quit, and to never give up. You can accomplish anything if you have a great attitude. No one wants to be around people who are down and depressed, and that's my foundation, it is so important to me: it helps me bring our veteran warriors together to motivate them and raise their spirits.

EDUCATION TO GET HERE:

Professional Parachute Demonstrator/Pilot

I RECOMMEND COMPLETING:

  • High School

What I studied RELATES to my work...

MY EDUCATION

  • High School -
  • Undergraduate - University of North Dakota, Airline/Commercial/Professional Pilot and Flight Crew

SOME HELPFUL FIRST STEPS FOR SOMEONE IN HIGH SCHOOL

Make sure that you graduate—graduating from high school is a huge accomplishment. After that, it's all about meeting, greeting, and forming connections and networks with other people.

HURDLES I OVERCAME

THE “NOISE” FROM PEOPLE

“You're never going to amount to anything. You're just lucky.”

HOW I OVERCAME THE “NOISE”

I was a terrible student in high school. In fact, when I took my transcripts to college, the counselors looked at me like, "Really?" My kids now think it's hilarious to show their friends my high school report card. But when I found success after my accident, my dad told me, "You're just given everything," as if I hadn't worked hard at my recovery. I've moved past it because all that matters is giving back; we're only here for a short amount of time, and I want my legacy to be inspiring.

Service Background and Insight

What branch of the military did you serve in?

Army

When did you complete active military service (ETS)? Please specify the year (YYYY).

1996

What is the highest rank you reached while in the service?

E-7

What are some tips you would recommend for someone transitioning into civilian life?

There are programs & groups out there that will do everything for returning veterans—find them a job, find them a house—but this gives them no incentive to go back to work. You can't have everything done for you; you have to keep some kind of drive.

As many as 400,000 service members live with the invisible wounds of war. Have you experienced PTSD, combat stress, or TBI as a result of your service?

TBI

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