Jason Kephart Story

"I sit on the edge of my bed and focus on my goals for the day. I make a plan of attack on how I am going to get my goals accomplished. I use this time to have quiet reflection, and focus on preparing for the daily battle we call life. I then get all my things prepared and get ready for the day. I get my kids up and moving with their day. I try to not let them see a slacker so they learn that when the alarm goes off it is time to take on the day and make it count.

I served in the National Guard for 7.5 years. I had plans to stay in longer but a back injury stopped that for me. This was hard as I loved being a CBRN Warfare Specialist. This was a job that I excelled at and loved to do. On top of everything going on with the guard, I was moving up in the the chain of command at the fire department I worked at. With the back injury, I knew the military was going to be done for me. That's when I became worried I wouldn’t be able to continue as a firefighter. After working hard, I was able to keep working at the fire department. While not being able to keep going in the military was a downfall, it was not the lowest point. The fire department had many challenges. Having several near miss incidents that could have resulted in my demise really made me start to think is this really all I have lived for is to go out after this? I felt that I had not really lived my life to the fullest. I started to have a calling that ate at me on the inside. Fighting PTSD and depression, I knew that I had to do something to feel as if I was really living my life to the fullest. I also felt that I had to give back to others that have no motivation or have lost the fire to be better and live life to the fullest. I started to mentor my younger firefighters to prepare them for the mental challenges they will face with the fire service. I got back into old hobbies like photography and the outdoors. This lead to traveling more and seeking out breathtaking locations. I didn't have a way to put this into words until I stumbled across NDCQ's website. Even with my close calls and fighting the demons in my head, I was not dead so I couldn't quit. I had to keep going for my family, friends, and myself. I continue to do that today. I keep looking for the next adventure and challenge. I look to how I can better someone and motivate others on their path. I keep up the battle and refuse to quit.

My next target is to be able to finish my college education. I am working on a bachelors degree and looking into going as high in my education as I can. Not only to better myself but to be able to take that knowledge to pass on to others. On top of this I feel that the NDCQ mindset will keep me on target. It will allow me to push to keep up on my journeys around the world to explore and find adventure everywhere I go. I want to see the beautiful sites around the world and capture them with my camera so I can feel more alive. I want to be able to share those adventures to motivate others to fight everyday for something better and exciting. No matter what, we all have to remember that we're Not Dead and Can't Quit, and to keep making others and our own lives the best that they can be."